Mashable points to the Pew survey that compares use of Internet, broadband and mobile phones based on income. The big takeaway is this:
“Those in higher-income households are different from other Americans in their tech ownership and use… 95% of those in households earning over $75,000 use the internet and cell phones
Those in higher-income households are more likely to use the internet on any given day, own multiple internet-ready devices, do things involving money online, and get news online”
95% of anything is a big number.
But, what’s interesting to me is, despite a significant drop-off from the wealthiest Americans, how common cellphones and Internet use are among all economic strata.
- 75% of those Americans whose household income is below $30,000 own a cellphone.
- 57% use the Internet.
- 40% have broadband at home.
If you look at individuals with a income between $30,000 and $49,999, the numbers jump to 90%, 80% and 64%, respectively. Given that the Census Bureau reported 2008 median household income at $52,000, we’re not talking about the wealthiest of Americans here. And, yes, clearly, those Americans with the highest household income had more. But the fact that those below the median had such large numbers speaks volumes about the importance of mobile and of the web to the American consumer.
I don’t want to gloss over the fact that, as more services move online – particularly those in government and education – those people who fall lower on the economic plane face serious disadvantages without Internet access and/or mobile phones. And I wonder whether the significant numbers among lower-income households indicate choice or necessity on their part.
But, at the same time, it’s pretty clear that your customer – whether at the top of the economic spectrum or further down the line – uses these tools. Which makes me wonder further: are you still invisible online? And, if so, why?
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