Survey: 1 in 5 U.S. Households Has Never Used E-mail


Nearly 20 million U.S. households are without Internet access, according to a recent report from Park Associates. The report, National Technology Scan, found that roughly one-fifth of all U.S. heads-of-household have never used E-mail. The survey was conducted to provide an accurate picture of current adoption levels, demand, and the total available market for technology products and services in the U.S.

“Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document,” says John Barrett, director of research, Parks Associates. “These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the homes in the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, use a computer.”

Age and education are factors in this divide, according to the report. One-half of those who have never used E-mail are over 65, and 56 percent had no schooling beyond high school. Seven percent of the 20 million “disconnected” homes plan to subscribe to an Internet service within the next 12 months.

National Technology Scan reported at year-end 2006 that 31 million homes (29 percent) of all U.S. households did not have Internet access, citing low perceived value of the Internet.

“Internet connections have slowly increased in U.S. households, but getting the disconnected minority online will continue to be difficult,” Barrett says. “Age and economics are important factors, but the heart of the challenge is deeper. Many people just don’t see a reason to use computers and do not associate technology with the needs and demands of their daily lives.”

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