Commentary

Two-Thirds Of Adults Use Social Network Sites

The proportion of American adults who use social networking sites rocketed from 7% in 2005 to 65% today, according to Pew Research Center, which performed a meta-study based on an analysis of 27 national surveys over the past decade. However it should be noted that the growth rate has slowed significantly over the last two years, increasing just 3% from 2014-2015.

Unsurprisingly the proportions are higher among Internet users, with 76% of online adults using social networks in 2015, up slightly from 74% in 2014. Pew notes that 15% of the U.S. adult population remains offline.

Again unsurprisingly, younger adults are the biggest users, with 90% of individuals ages 18-29 using social media, compared to 77% of adults ages 30-49 and 51% of adults ages 50-64. However older adults continue to close the gap, with the proportion of social media users among adults 65 and up jumping from 11% in 2010 to 35% today.

Turning to gender, women have consistently been a bit more likely to use social media (except for the first few years, when adoption by both genders was relatively low). Today 68% of women are social media users, versus 62% for men. Those figures are up from 28% and 26%, respectively, in 2008.

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People with higher levels of educational attainment are also more likely to use social media: 76% of U.S. adults with a college degree or more currently use social media, up from 29% in 2008. Over the same period the proportion among adults with a high school diploma or less rose from 20% to 54%.

In line with this trend, social media users also tend to be more affluent: in 2015 78% of U.S. adults with a household income over $75,000 used social media, compared to 72% for household incomes from $50,000-$74,999, 69% for the $30,000-$49,999 bracket, and 56% for those under $30,000.

3 comments about "Two-Thirds Of Adults Use Social Network Sites".
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  1. Shauna Schatz from Intermarkets, Inc., October 9, 2015 at 12:47 p.m.

    Interesting piece - thanks Erik. Is the study current?  I didn't notice a link or formal citation. I'd be curious to know which study in particular you are quoting.  Thanks!

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston replied, October 9, 2015 at 3:17 p.m.

    http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/08/social-networking-usage-2005-2015/

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, October 9, 2015 at 2:18 p.m.

    "We are begging to be controlled."

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