A recent study from Pew Research Center shows 7% of Americans; the smartphone is their only access to the internet. Most Americans access the internet in a variety of ways including computers, tablets, or phones. They access the internet at home, at work, or at the library. A previous Pew Research study found roughly 89% of American adults access the internet.

Internet Smartphones

A closer look at the 7%

The 7% of smartphone dependent tend to be younger and less educated. 15% of those survey fall in the age group 18 to 29. 13% of the group also made less than $30,000 per year. Only 1% of that group earn over $75,000. The majority of those who are dependent on smartphones tend to be less white. 13% of Latinos and 12% of blacks were smartphone dependent. Only 4% were white.

Pew’s study also showed low-income users were most likely to use their phone to look for work.Those earning less than $30,000 a year were twice as likely to search for jobs on their smartphone. They were also more than four times likely to use their phone to submit a job application.

Limited access to internet

Smartphone users who rely exclusively on their handsets for internet access sometimes find themselves struggling to pay for their phone service. Of the 7% of that group, almost a quarter had to cancel or suspend their service because they could not afford it. 15% of the group also reached the maximum data use in their plans.

Pew researcher Aaron Smith explained that for some people, their phones are the primary lifeline for the internet.

This survey shows how important the internet has become for the vast majority of people. Even though almost everyone has access to the internet these days, there are still many Americans who have limited access to the internet. Smartphones are a valuable tool for conducting a variety of everyday tasks including learning about health conditions, access online banking, and shopping.