Pew Research Center President Michael Dimock examines the changes – some profound, some subtle – that the U.S. experienced during Barack Obama’s presidency.
The long-standing divide in internet use between U.S. Hispanics and whites is now at its narrowest point since 2009, as immigrant and Spanish-dominant Latinos make big strides in going online.
Latinos own smartphones, go online from a mobile device and use social networking sites at similar — and sometimes higher — rates than do other groups of Americans.
Latinos are less likely than whites to access the internet, have a home broadband connection or own a cell phone. However, Hispanics and whites with similar socioeconomic characteristics have similar usage patterns for these technologies.
While they still trail their non-Latino counterparts, young Latinos make extensive use of mobile technology. But use of cell phones and text messages differs notably among young Hispanics by nativity.
While rates of internet and cell phone use among native-born Hispanics are relatively high, technology use for the full population of Hispanics continues to lag behind the use rates of the non-Hispanic population.
From 2006 to 2008, internet use among Latino adults rose by 10 percentage points, from 54% to 64%, compared with a 4-percentage-point rise among whites and a 2-percentage-point rise among blacks. The growth among Latinos was driven mainly by increased usage by the foreign born and those with lower incomes -- groups that have low rates of online activity.