Despite progress getting Americans online — particularly through high-speed connections — 32 percent of adults remain unconnected, some of them by choice, a new study finds.
While nearly a third of nonusers cite lack of access as the reason for not using the Internet, about the same number say they simply aren't interested in going online, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Furthermore, 15 percent of nonusers live in households with a connection — used by a child or someone else.
"There's always going to be a group of people who are nervous about it," said Susannah Fox, an associate director at Pew. "They might read stories about viruses and spyware and feel like they don't want to go online."
Others say they are too busy or find access too difficult or expensive.
The unconnected tend to be older. Seventy-eight percent of those age 70 and older are offline, compared with less than half of the 60-69 group and less than a quarter of adults under 70.
Other groups that lag in online usage include blacks, those without high school education and those without a child living at home.
The random telephone-based survey of 2,001 adults was conducted May 4 to June 7 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.