February 9, 2011

Latinos and Digital Technology, 2010

III. Home Internet Use

More than half (55%) of all Hispanics report that they use the internet in their home. This is similar to the rate for blacks (58%), but significantly lower than the rate for whites (75%). Differences in internet use explain some, but not all, of the variation between whites and Hispanics in the likelihood of home internet access.While 85% of Hispanic internet users report that they go online from home, almost all (96%) of white internet users report as much. Once again, blacks have a pattern of use similar to Hispanics, with 88% of black internet users reporting that they go online from home.

More than half (55%) of all Hispanics report that they use the internet in their home. This is similar to the rate for blacks (58%), but significantly lower than the rate for whites (75%). Differences in internet use explain some, but not all, of the variation between whites and Hispanics in the likelihood of home internet access.While 85% of Hispanic internet users report that they go online from home, almost all (96%) of white internet users report as much. Once again, blacks have a pattern of use similar to Hispanics, with 88% of black internet users reporting that they go online from home.

While more than seven-in-ten (71%) native-born Latinos report using the internet from home, less than half (45%) of foreign-born Latinos do the same. Nativity differences in internet use decline markedly when the analysis is limited to internet users, but the foreign born still lag slightly behind the native born (82% vs. 88%).

Fully 77% of English-dominant Latinos go online, compared with 61% of bilingual Latinos, and 37% of Spanish-dominant Latinos. These differences are partially explained by language differences in internet use. When examining home internet use for internet users only, the difference between bilingual and Spanish-dominant Latinos disappear, but English-dominant Latinos are still significantly more likely to access the internet from home.

Younger Hispanics are more likely than older Hispanics to use the internet from their home, and these differences are related to differences in the likelihood of using the internet. More than seven-in-ten (72%) of those ages 18 to 29 go online from home, compared with 60% of those ages 30 to 44 and 48% of those ages 45 to 59. Only one-fourth of Hispanics ages 60 and older use the internet from their home.

Less educated Latinos are less likely than Latinos with higher levels of educational attainment to go online from home. Only 30% of those lacking a high school diploma go online from home, compared with 54% of those with a high school diploma and 86% of those with at least some college education. In this case, differences in home internet use are not entirely driven by differences in the likelihood of using the internet. When limiting the analysis to internet users, Latinos with at least some college education remain more likely than less educated Latinos to access the internet from home.

Some 43% of Hispanics with household incomes below $30,000 report using the internet from home, as do more than seven-in-ten (71%) Hispanics with household incomes between $30,000 and $49,999. Fully 88% of Hispanics earning $50,000 or more report accessing the internet from their home. As was the case with education, these differences in the likelihood of using the internet are not driven simply by income differences. Even among internet users, significant income differences persist: 76% of those with household incomes below $30,000 annually access the internet at home, compared with 90% of those with incomes of $30,000-$49,999, and 97% of those with household incomes of $50,000 or more.

The prevalence of home internet connections among Latinos does not differ significantly by place of residence. Some 65% of suburbanites have a home internet connection, compared with 55% of city dwellers and 54% of rural residents.