Economy Watch: A Quarter of US Adults Online Constantly

In a trend bound to impact office and retail use, 77 percent of Americans go online on a daily basis, according to Pew Research.

Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Intel Free Press
Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Intel Free Press

In a trend that’s bound to affect the way retail and probably office space is used in future decades, 26 percent of American adults now say that they go online “almost constantly,” up from 21 percent in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January 2018. Overall, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of Americans go online on a daily basis, growth spurred by the ubiquity of handheld devices in the 2010s.

Besides the 26 percent who go online almost constantly, some 43 percent say they go online “several times a day” and 8 percent go online “about once a day,” which adds up to the 77 percent who are online at least once a day. As for the rest, 11 percent are online several times a week or less often, while 11 percent of adults say they do not use the Internet at all.

Unsurprisingly, according to the report, younger adults tend to be constantly connected more than other age groups: In the 18- to 29-year old age group, about four in 10 (39 percent) now go online almost constantly, while 49 percent go online multiple times per day. By contrast, only 8 percent of Americans 65 and older go online almost constantly and just 30 percent go online multiple times per day.

More than one-third (34 percent) of adults with a college education or more go online almost constantly—and 92 percent go online daily—compared with 20 percent of adults with a high school education or less, Pew Research found. While 35 percent of adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more use the Internet almost constantly (and 91 percent use it daily), that’s true for only about a quarter (24 percent) of those households making less than $30,000.