WASHINGTON (CBSDC)– For many Americans it’s hard to conceptualize a world without the Internet, but a new survey suggests that 15 percent of American adults are still offline.

Though that statistic hasn’t changed much over the last three years, it’s a sharp drop from the 48 percent of American adults who didn’t use the Internet in 2000, according to Pew Research Center.

Considering Internet use is a constant among the majority of American adults, Pew analyzed the key reasons that some people shy away from it. A third of non-Internet users (34 percent) say they don’t go online because they have no interest or do not think its relevant to their lives. Thirty-two percent of non-Internet users think the World Wide Web is too difficult to use, with 8 percent of the group saying they’re “too old to learn.”

Seniors are the least likely to use the Internet with about 40 percent of adults ages 65 and older saying they don’t use the internet. Only 3 percent of 18-to 29-year-olds reported not going online.

Absence of Internet use was also correlated to household income and education. The research found that a third of adults with less than a high school education don’t use the Internet and that adults with households earning less than $30,000 a year are eight times more likely to not use the Internet when compared to more affluent adults.

Researchers note that despite the lack of Internet use among some specific groups, the offline population is shrinking as a whole, and for some groups dramatically so. Eighty-six percent of adults 65 and older didn’t use the Internet in 2000, a figure that is cut in half today. The percentage of people without a high school diploma using the internet dipped to 33 percent from 81 percent in the same time period.




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