Americans’ obsession with the internet is very, very real. One-fifth of US adults say they go online “almost constantly,” and three-quarters at least once a day, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center. That’s equivalent to about 49.3 million US adults who almost never leave the internet during their waking hours, based on the latest US population estimates, and 171 million who sign onto it daily.
Twenty-one percent may not sound surprising, considering how we’re increasingly wired to our computers, tablets, and mobile devices. But this was the first time Pew offered ”almost constantly” as a response to a question about frequency of internet use, which means there isn’t any historical data on how this population of avid internet users has grown over time.
How do these internet fiends break down? According to Pew, the 18-29 age group has the highest percentage of people online “almost constantly,” at 36%. The 30-49 age bracket is close behind, with 28% reporting that frequency of internet use. By income, the share of almost-constant users increases with salary; 28% of people earning $75,000 or more give “almost constantly” as their answer, compared to just 16% of those making less than $30,000.
As for the holdouts: According to Pew’s data, there are still roughly 30 million US adults (13%) who say they don’t go online at all.