Tablet Adoption Almost Doubles in 1 Year, Now At 34% in the US

June 11, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Boomers & Older | Digital | Hispanic | Household Income | Men | Mobile Phone | Women | Youth & Gen X

Pew-US-Tablet-Adoption-Rates-in-May-2013-Jun2013Tablet adoption is rising quickly, and has reached majority penetration in certain segments of the population, according to [pdf] results from a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. In the latest survey fielded last month, Pew found 34% of American adults reporting ownership of a tablet, almost double the 18% adoption rate it found in a survey fielded in April 2012. Looking at the demographics of tablet ownership, the latest study finds that adoption spikes in the 35-44 age bracket, and appears to rise alongside educational attainment and household income level.

Specifically, 49% of 35-44-year-olds report ownership of a tablet, by far the highest mark of any age bracket. Next are the 45-54 (38%) and 25-34 (37%) brackets, with 18-24-year-olds (33%) lagging them in adoption.

Interestingly, women report higher adoption of tablets than men (35% vs. 32%): previous reports had found the opposite to be true, although the trend favored increasing adoption by women.

Also of note, unlike smartphones, which have higher penetration rates among Blacks (64%) and Hispanics (60%) than whites (53%), tablet ownership is relatively consistent across race and ethnicities, ranging from a low of 32% for whites to a high of 34% for Hispanics.

The biggest gaps in ownership are reserved for educational attainment, household income and parental status. Penetration stands at 17% among those with less than a high school education, and climbs all the way up to 49% among college graduates. When it comes to household income level, adoption is at 20% for those with less than $30,000 per year, and rises to a majority 56% among those with more than $75,000 per year. Finally, parents with minor(s) living at home report a 50% adoption rate, compared to 27% for non-parents or parents without a minor living at home.

What’s striking about some of those higher adoption rates is how quickly they have risen:

  • Tablet ownership among parents with minor children living in the home has grown from 26% in April 2012 to 50% in May 2013;
  • Adoption by those living in households making at least $75,000 per year has increased from 34% to 56%; and
  • The penetration rate among college graduates has jumped from 28% to 49%.

About the Data: The results in the Pew report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May 19, 2013, among a sample of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,125) and cell phone (1,127, including 571 without a landline phone).


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