- Author: Myriam Grajales-Hall
Latinos are less likely than whites to access the internet, have a home broadband connection or own a cell phone, according to survey findings from the Pew Hispanic Center. Latinos lag behind blacks in home broadband access but have similar rates of internet and cell phone use.While about two-thirds of Latino (65 percent) and black (66 percent) adults went online in 2010, more than three-fourths (77 percent) of white adults did so. In terms of broadband use at home, there is a large gap between Latinos (45 percent) and whites (65 percent), and the rate among blacks (52 percent) is somewhat higher than that of Latinos. Fully 85 percent of whites owned a cell phone in 2010, compared with 76 percent of Latinos and 79 percent of blacks.
Hispanics, on average, have lower levels of education and earn less than whites. Controlling for these factors, the differences in internet use, home broadband access and cell phone use between Hispanics and whites disappear. In other words, Hispanics and whites who have similar socioeconomic characteristics have similar usage patterns for these technologies.
The survey found that Hispanics are less likely than whites to send or receive text messages (55 percent vs. 61 percent). However, Hispanics and whites are equally likely to access the internet and send or receive email from a cell phone. And Hispanics are more likely than whites to engage in instant messaging (34 percent vs. 20 percent).
Though they are no more likely than whites to access the internet from a cell phone, Hispanics are more likely to do so in lieu of a home internet connection. Some 6 percent of Latinos report that they access the internet from a cell phone but have no internet access at home.
Source: Pew Internet Center, “Latinos and Digital Technology, 2010”, February 9, 2011.