Social Networking Use Has Shot Up in Past Decade
|Year||Internet Users||All Adults|
- Age differences: Seniors make strides – Young adults (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely to use social media – fully 90% do. Still, usage among those 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010 when 11% used social media. Today, 35% of all those 65 and older report using social media, compared with just 2% in 2005.
- Gender differences: Women and men use social media at similar rates – Women were more likely than men to use social networking sites for a number of years, although since 2014 these differences have been modest. Today, 68% of all women use social media, compared with 62% of all men.
- Socio-economic differences: Those with higher education levels and household income lead the way – Over the past decade, it has consistently been the case that those in higher-income households were more likely to use social media. More than half (56%) of those living in the lowest-income households now use social media, though growth has leveled off in the past few years. Turning to educational attainment, a similar pattern is observed. Those with at least some college experience have been consistently more likely than those with a high school degree or less to use social media over the past decade. 2013 was the first year that more than half of those with a high school diploma or less used social media.
- Racial and ethnic similarities: There are not notable differences by racial or ethnic group: 65% of whites, 65% of Hispanics and 56% of African-Americans use social media today.
- Community differences: More than half of rural residents now use social media – Those who live in rural areas are less likely than those in suburban and urban communities to use social media, a pattern consistent over the past decade. Today, 58% of rural residents, 68% of suburban residents, and 64% of urban residents use social media.
Social Media Usage by Age: Ubiquitous Among Youngest Adults, Notable Among Older Adults
Age is strongly correlated with social media usage: Those ages 18 to 29 have always been the most likely users of social media by a considerable margin. Today, 90% of young adults use social media, compared with 12% in 2005, a 78-percentage point increase. At the same time, there has been a 69-point bump among those ages 30-49, from 8% in 2005 to 77% today.
Young Adults Still Are the Most Likely to Use Social Media
|Year||18-29||30-49||50-64||65 or older|
Social Media Usage by Gender: A Shifting Balance Over Time, With Parity Today
Women and Men Use Social Networking Sites at Comparable Rates
Social Media Usage by Educational Attainment: Those With Higher Education Levels More Likely to be Social Media Users
Those With Lower Levels of Education Are Less Likely to Use Social Media
|Year||College graduate or more||Some college / Associate degree||High school graduate or less|
Social Media Usage by Household Income: Those Living in Affluent Households More Likely to Be Social Media Users
Those in Higher Income Households Lead the Way
|Year||Less than $30K||$30K-$49,999||$50K-$74,999||$75K+|
Social Media Usage by Race/Ethnicity: Consistent Similarities
Racial Differences Not Very Evident as Social Media Usage Has Grown
|Year||White, non-Hispanic||Black, non-Hispanic||Hispanic|
Social Media Usage by Community Type: More Than Half of Rural Residents Now Use Social Media
Rural Citizens Have Consistently Lagged Behind
- The data reported here result from a general question about whether people use social networking sites of any kind, rather than an aggregation of individual site usage. No data is available from 2007. ↩