Income Gap Reflected in Tech Users

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If you check your e-mail regularly at home or use a cell phone to browse the web and pay bills, you really are leading the good life.

A new study from the Pew Research Group has found that there is still a very real income gap in the way Americans use technology.

While 95% of those living in households earning at least $75,000 use the Internet occasionally, just 57% of those earning less than $30,000 claim to do the same. Similarly, 87% of those in households making $75,000 and up have access to broadband, while an astonishingly low 40% of those making $30,000 or less do.

This difference in income and Internet access also leads to different habits online. For example, nearly three quarters of those in households earning $75,000 or more will use the Internet to pay bills and read the news. By comparison, less than half of those in households earning $30,000 and under pay their bills online and only about a third of them get their news online.

But this income disparity extends to other technology choices for consumers as well.

More than three quarters of those living in households earning at least $75,000 own laptops, while less than half of those below that income bracket do. Roughly 70% of those in higher income households own portable music players like iPods compared to 42% of those earning less than $75,000. And 9% of those in higher income households have already adopted the tablet computer, while only 3% in lower income households have.

If you want to trick out the technology you currently have, check out our story on the coolest computer accessories.

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