As smartphones and other connecteddevices have become more widespread, 26 per cent of American adults now report that they go online “almost constantly,” up from 21 per cent in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January 2018.
Overall, 77 per cent of Americans go online on a daily basis. That figure includes the 26 per cent who go online almost constantly, as well as 43 per cent who say they go online several times a day and 8 per cent who go online about once a day. Some 11 per cecnt go online several times a week or less often, while 11 per cent of adults say they do not use the Internet at all.
Mobile connectivity are especially likely to be online a lot. Among mobile internet users – the 83 per cent of Americans who use the Internet at least occasionally using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device – 89 per cent go online daily and 31 per cent go online almost constantly. Among Americans who go online but not via a mobile device, by comparison, 54 per cent go online daily and just 5 per cent say they go online almost constantly.
Younger adults are at the vanguard of the constantly connected: Roughly four-in-ten 18- to 29-year-olds (39 per cent) now go online almost constantly and 49 per cent go online multiple times per day. By comparison, just 8 per cent of those 65 and older go online almost constantly and just 30 per cent go online multiple times per day.
Americans ages 30 to 49 are now about as likely as younger adults to use the internet almost constantly (36 per cent versus 39 per cent). The share of 30- to 49-year olds who say this has risen 12 percentage points since 2015. Meanwhile, the share of constantly online Americans ages 50 to 64 has risen from 12 per cent to 17 per cent.
Other demographic groups that report going online frequently include college-educated adults, black adults, adults who live in higher-income households and non-rural residents.
Some 34 per cent of adults with a college education or more go online almost constantly (and 92 per cent go online daily), compared with 20 per cent of adults with a high school education or less. At the same time, roughly four-in-ten blacks (37 per cent) report using the internet almost constantly, compared with 30 per cent of Hispanics and 23 per cent of whites. The share of blacks who are almost constantly online has risen 14 points since 2015, while the share of Hispanics who say this has gone up by 11 points. Among whites, there has been little change.
While 35 per cent of adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more use the internet almost constantly (and 91 per cent use it daily), this is true for just 24 per cent of those making less than $30,000. Adults who live in urban and suburban areas are more likely to go online almost constantly than those who live in rural areas: 32 per cent of adults living in urban areas and 27 per cent living in suburban areas say this, compared with 15 per cent of rural residents.