Email & Search – Who is Doing it?

Are email and search still as important as you think? With all the hype about social media let’s take a look at some of the basic online usage for email and search. A recent report from Pew Internet survey finds that 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, including 59% on a typical day (compared to 29% in 2002).

Among online adults, 92% use email, with 61% using it on an average day. This places search and email at the top of the list of most popular online activities among U.S. adults.

Search

Whether you use Google or Bing or other search engines don’t you feel like you are always searching for something online multiple times per day? So let’s take a look at the stats. As expected, search is most popular among the young adult internet users (age 18-29), of which 66% use it on a typical day. But interestingly, even 37% of older online users (65+) will search on a typical day.

Adults who have higher education and earn more are searching more often. Typically college and the highest income adults make more use of search engines to gather information when compared with other adults, as the table below shows.

Email

Email is similar to search in that the youngest online adults, the college-educated, and those in the highest income categories are more likely to engage in the activity. Interestingly, we see more avid use of email in older adults than search. These demographic differences are more apparent when one looks at email use on a typical day.

Moreover, while overall email use is comparable across white, African-American and Hispanic online adults, internet use on any given day is not. White online adults are significantly more likely than both African-American and Hispanic online adults to be email users on a typical day (63% v. 48% v. 53%, respectively).

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