Study: African Americans, Hispanics Lead Mobile Web Growth

English-speaking Hispanics have made impressive gains in their use of mobile Internet, according to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Between 2007 and 2009, the percentage of English-speaking Hispanics who reported going online via handheld device on a typical day climbed from 18 percent to 29 percent. African Americans registered an even bigger increase, from 12 percent to 29 percent. Both groups outpaced the growth in white users’ reported use of a handheld device to access the Internet on a typical day, which only grew from 9 percent to 17 percent.

The Hispanics surveyed reported the highest penetration of cell phone ownership, at 89 percent. On a typical day, 14 percent of English-speaking Hispanics reported playing music and 5 percent reported watching video on a cell phone or PDA. In terms of overall digital activities, English-speaking Hispanics who are online or are cell phone users outscored the other two groups.

The study was conducted in English, so the Hispanic population surveyed was skewed to a higher socioeconomic group, the study notes. When Spanish speakers were factored in to Pew’s Dec. 2008 study, the rate of broadband penetration in Hispanic homes was counted at 37 percent, while in the most recent study of English-speaking Hispanics, the rate was 68 percent.

Nielsen Business Media