One in Five Americans Need Smartphones for Internet Connectivity

How dependent are we on our smartphones? A new survey shows 19% of Americans rely on their smartphones to connect to the Internet, in one way or another.

The research by The Pew Research Center and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation found that nearly two-thirds of Americans currently own a smartphone, and 10% of them have no other means of accessing the Internet. 15% of smartphone owners say they have a limited number of ways to get online, other than using their phones. 19% say they fall into one of the two categories, and 7% say they fall into both.

Smartphone dependence varies based on a number of factors, like a person’s age and economic status. 15% of younger adults (18-29) are heavily dependent on their phones for Internet access. 13% of Americans with an annual household income of under $30,000 rely on their phones for Internet access, while only 1% of households earning more than $75,000 depend on their smartphones for the Internet.

Dependence on smartphones is strongly correlated with ethnicity. 12% of African Americans and 13% of Latinos rely on their phones to get online, compared to just 4% of Caucasian smartphone owners.

As smartphone ownership continues to rise in America, dependency levels will inevitably rise as well. Many Americans have already done away with their landline phones in favor of smartphones, and it’s only a matter of time before the same is true with Internet plans. If you depend on your phone to connect to the web, know that you are not alone. You’re part of what may soon be the new “norm.”

About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor. Natalie can be contacted at [email protected]