Pew: Households Earning $75K Consume More Internet Tech

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-11-25

Some 95 percent of people earning more than $75,000 access the Internet from computers and other devices at least occasionally, compared with 70 percent of people earning less money in the United States.

That's the latest finding from Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Projects, polled more than 8,000 people aged 18 and older in three separate telephone surveys from late 2009 to 2010.

The researcher found that 99 percent of the higher income bracket folks use the Internet at home, compared with 93 percent of the Internet users in lower brackets.

Also, people in the households sporting higher incomes differ from other Americans in their technology ownership and use, often owning multiple devices to conduct online banking, surf for news and access other applications.

Some 95 percent of higher income households own a cell phone, compared with 83 percent in households with less income.

Roughly 79 percent of those living in households earning $75,000 or more own desktop computers, compared with 55 percent of those living in less well-off homes.

The number steepens for laptop use, with 79 percent of those in the high-income bracket using laptops, compared with 47 percent of those living in less well-off homes.

The gulf widens with devices considered to be more tailored for users' entertainment, such as Apple iPods, Apple iPad tablets, and game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii.

Internet connections play a big role in the differences between those earning more money.

Some 93 percent of higher-income Internet users have some type of broadband connection at home versus 85 percent of the Internet users who live in households earning less than $75,000 per year.

Pew's part about broadband connections highlights one of the ongoing concerns of the Federal Communications Commission, which is fighting to bring lower-cost broadband to millions of homes across the country.

There is certainly a deficit in rural areas, as carriers failed to build there, though that could change under the National Broadband Plan, provided the FCC can bring it to fruition.

Rocket Fuel