20% of U.S. Has Never Sent Email

Over the past couple of years I have been lulled into thinking everyone uses the internet and cannot live without email even though my parents use neither. According to the National Association of Realtors something like 80% of people start their search for a home on the internet, but what do the other 60 million Americans do when they are thinking of buying a new home? I wonder what percentage of people don’t read the newspaper, watch the TV ads, read direct mail or glance at billboards?

According to research firm Parks Associates roughly one-fifth of all U.S. households are disconnected from the Internet and have never used e-mail. A recent phone survey of U.S. households by Parks found 20 million households are without Internet access, approximately 18 percent of all U.S. households.

John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates, stated “Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document.”

Age and education are factors in this divide, Park found. One-half of those who have never used e-mail are over 65, and 56 percent had no schooling beyond high school.

Parks found 7 percent of the 20 million disconnected homes plan to subscribe to an Internet service within the next 12 months. In 2006, Parks found that 29 percent of all U.S. households — 31 million homes — did not have Internet access, citing low perceived value of the Internet.

“Many people just don’t see a reason to use computers and do not associate technology with the needs and demands of their daily lives,” Barrett said.

I am going to dig a bit further into the statistics regarding newspaper readership, radio listening habits and other advertising mediums to see if I might be missing some important marketing trends. Stay tuned.

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