90% of Americans are on-line

Nearly nine-in-ten Americans today are online, up from about half in the early 2000s. Pew Research Center has chronicled this trend and others through more than 15 years of surveys on internet and technology use.

Key trends:

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Roughly three-quarters of Americans (77%) now own a smartphone, with lower-income Americans and those ages 50 and older exhibiting a sharp uptick in ownership over the past year, according a Pew Research Center survey conducted in November 2016.

Smartphones are nearly ubiquitous among younger adults, with 92% of 18- to 29-year-olds owning one. But growth in smartphone ownership over the past year has been especially pronounced among Americans 50 and older.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans ages 50-64 are now smartphone owners (a 16-percentage-point increase compared with 2015), as are 42% of those 65 and older (up 12 points from 2015).

After a modest decline between 2013 and 2015, the share of Americans with broadband service at home increased by 6 percentage points in 2016.Between 2013 and 2015, the share of Americans with home broadband service decreased slightly – from 70% to 67%.

But in the past year, broadband adoption rates have returned to an upward trajectory. As of November 2016, nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans indicate that they have broadband service at home.

Nearly seven-in-ten Americans now use social media. When the Center started tracking social media adoption in 2005, just 5% of Americans said they used these platforms. Today, 69% of U.S. adults are social media users. Social media is especially popular among younger adults, as 86% of 18- to 29-year-olds are social media users.

Half the public now owns a tablet. Though less widespread than smartphones, tablet computers have also become highly common in a very short period of time. When the Center first began tracking tablet ownership in 2010, just 3% of Americans owned a tablet of some kind. That figure has risen to 51% as of November 2016.

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