Here is what our surveys found about the students most likely to lack the home internet connectivity needed to finish schoolwork.
The digital divide between Americans who have a disability and Americans who do not remains for some devices.
Nine-in-ten Americans say the internet has been essential or important to them, many made video calls and 40% used technology in new ways. But while tech was a lifeline for some, others faced struggles.
Rural adults are less likely than suburban adults to have home broadband and less likely than urban adults to own a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Black and Hispanic Americans remain less likely than White adults to say they own a traditional computer or have high-speed internet at home.
The shares of Americans in each income tier who have home broadband or a smartphone have not significantly changed from 2019 to 2021.
Some 15% of all home broadband users in the U.S. say they have had trouble paying for their high-speed internet service during the pandemic.
Today, 25% of adults ages 65 and older report never going online, compared with much smaller shares of adults under the age of 65.
Some of Americans’ pandemic adaptations have relied on technology, including adults working from home and students learning online.
Lee Rainie, director of internet and technology research at the Pew Research Center, presented this material on October 14, 2020 at a gathering sponsored by the International Institute of Communications. He described the most recent Center public opinion surveys since mid-March, covering the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, racial justice protests that began in the summer, and the final stages of the 2020 presidential election campaign.