More than 25 percent of Americans say they are online “almost constantly,” says a new report.
According to a Pew Research Center study conducted in January, 26 percent of American adults spend a lot of time online, up from 21 percent in 2015.
Pew also found that 77 percent report going online at least on a daily basis. Only 11 percent of American adults reported not using the internet at all.
One reason for the increase in heavy internet use is the widespread use of smartphones. More than eight out of 10 American adults said they access the internet via smartphone “at least occasionally.” Eighty-nine percent of smartphone users reported going on the internet daily, and 31 percent said they are online almost constantly.
For Americans who access the internet via computers instead of with a mobile device, 54 percent are online daily, and only 5 percent are online a lot of the time.
Not surprisingly, younger adults are the leaders among those who report being constantly connected, with some 39 percent saying they’re online almost all the time. Almost half report going online many times a day. For older Americans over 65, only 8 percentreported being online constantly, and 30 percent use the internet multiple times a day.
Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 report nearly the same levels of connectivity as young adults. Among those ages 50 to 64, 17 percent report being online nearly constantly, a jump of 5 percent from three years ago.
Groups reporting the most frequent internet use include “college-educated adults, black adults, adults who live in higher income households and nonrural residents,” Pew found.
More than one-third ((34 percent)) of those with a college education or more are online nearly constantly, compared to 20 percent of those with a high school education or less.
Among blacks, 37 percent reported they’re online nearly constantly, with 92 percent saying they’re connected at least daily. That compares to 30 percent of Hispanics and 23 percent of whites. Both blacks and Hispanics have seen increases in internet use, while for whites, it is stable.
Income also makes a difference in how much time is spent online, Pew said, noting that 35 percent of American adults with a household income of $75,000 or more reported being online nearly constantly. For those making less than $30,000, that number was just 24 percent.
Urban and suburban Americans were more likely to be online all the time (27 percent), compared to their rural counterparts (15 percent).