March 7, 2013

Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption

IV. Smartphones

Among Latino adults, half (49%) say they own a smartphone. Overall, smartphone ownership rates are similar to those of whites (46%) and blacks (50%).

Among Hispanics, Who Owns a Smartphone?

2013-03_Latinos-Technology-12Latinos with annual family incomes of $50,000 or more are the most likely to own a smartphone. On the other hand, Latinos ages 65 and older are the least likely to be smartphone owners.

More than three-quarters (76%) of Latinos with annual family incomes of $50,000 or more say they own a smartphone. This compares with 59% of those with family incomes between $30,000 and $49,999, and four-in-ten (40%) Latinos with family incomes under $30,000.

Educational attainment is also correlated with smartphone ownership. About seven-in-ten (68%) Latinos with some college education or more say they own a smartphone. This compares with 45% of those who have completed high school and 32% of those without a high school diploma.

Younger Latinos are more likely to own a smartphone than older Latinos are. Two-thirds (66%) of Latinos ages 18 to 29 own a smartphone, compared with 51% of those ages 30 to 49, 35% of those ages 50 to 64, and 14% of those ages 65 and older.

Native-born Latinos are 21 percentage points more likely to say they own a smartphone, compared with foreign-born Latinos—61% vs. 40%.

Demographic Characteristics of Hispanic Smartphone Owners

2013-03_Latinos-Technology-13Half (50%) of Latino smartphone owners have some college education or more, compared with about three-in-ten (29%) of those without a smartphone.

Latino smartphone owners are more likely than their counterparts to have higher family incomes. Latino smartphone owners are 17 percentage points more likely to have family incomes of $50,000 or more compared with those whose cellphone is not a smartphone—32% versus 15% respectively. Conversely, 41% of Latino smartphone owners have family incomes below $30,000, compared with 56% of those without a smartphone.

Additionally, a majority of smartphone owners are native born (54%), compared with less than half (42%) of those who do not own a smartphone. Latinos who do not have a smartphone are nearly twice as likely to be Spanish dominant (41%) than those who do own a smartphone (21%).