It may be impossible to fathom an Internet-free existence, but that’s a reality for a sizeable fraction of the US population. According to a recent study carried out by the Pew Research Center, some 15 percent of American adults live completely offline. An additional nine percent only access the Internet outside of the home.
There are a handful of reasons keeping them offline. About a third of the 15 percent described the Internet as not relevant to their lives, saying they have neither the interest nor the time to go online. Another third said they are kept from using the Internet because of usability issues, while the remaining third of nonusers cited reasons like cost and availability.
Tellingly, age is a significant factor in US Internet adoption; while 40 percent of Americans older than 65 are offline, just two percent of adults aged between 18 and 29 do not use the Internet. Unsurprisingly, though, the number of nonusers has shrunk significantly over the past few years - down to 15 percent from half the population as recently as 2000.