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Social Media Usage by Age: Ubiquitous Among Youngest Adults, Notable Among Older Adults


Age is strongly correlated with social media usage: Those ages 18 to 29 have always been the most likely users of social media by a considerable margin. Today, 90% of young adults use social media, compared with 12% in 2005, a 78-percentage point increase. At the same time, there has been a 69-point bump among those ages 30-49, from 8% in 2005 to 77% today.

Young Adults Still Are the Most Likely to Use Social Media

While usage among young adults started to leveled off as early as 2010, since then there has been a surge in usership among those 65 and older. In 2005, 2% of seniors used social media, compared with 35% today.

Social Media Usage by Gender: A Shifting Balance Over Time, With Parity Today

In 2005, 8% of men and 6% of women used social media.

Women and Men Use Social Networking Sites at Comparable Rates

Starting in 2009, women started using social media at slightly higher rates than men, although this balance has shrunk yet again in recent years. Today, 68% of women and 62% of men report social media usage, a difference that is not statistically significant.

Social Media Usage by Educational Attainment: Those With Higher Education Levels More Likely to be Social Media Users

Those who have attended at least some college are more likely than those with a high school diploma or less to use social media, a trend that has been consistent since 2005. In that year, 4% of those with a high school diploma or less used social media, along with 8% of those who attended some college and 12% of college graduates.

Those With Lower Levels of Education Are Less Likely to Use Social Media

Currently adoption rates for social media stand at 76% for those with college or graduate degrees, 70% of those with some college education and 54% for those who have a high school diploma or less.

At the same time, the share of those with a high school diploma or less who use social media has grown more than tenfold over the past decade.

Social Media Usage by Household Income: Those Living in Affluent Households More Likely to Be Social Media Users

There were modest differences by household income when Pew Research first began measuring social media usage in 2005: 4% of those living in households earning less than $30,000 used social media, compared with 12% of those living in household earning $75,000 or more.

Those in Higher Income Households Lead the Way

Those differences have persisted even as each group has seen dramatic growth in usage.

Today, 78% of those living in the highest-income households use social media, compared with 56% of those in the lowest-income households a 22-point difference.

Social Media Usage by Race/Ethnicity: Consistent Similarities

When it comes to race and ethnicity, trends in social media adoption are defined by similarities, not differences. Whites, African-Americans and Hispanics have broadly adopted social media at the same brisk pace.



Racial Differences Not Very Evident as Social Media Usage Has Grown

In 2005, 6% of African-Americans, 7% of whites and 10% of Hispanics used social networking sites. Today, those figures stand at 56% of African-Americans and 65% of both whites and Hispanics.


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 1011


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