Pew Study: Americans Own Multiple Digitial Devices

by Farren Washington

A new Pew study finds many Americans own smartphones, tablets and computers


According to a new Pew Research Center study, 66 percent of Americans own at least two digital devices (tablet, desktop or laptop computer or smartphone) and 36 percent own all three.

The percentage of American adults who own a computer, tablet or smartphone has doubled since 2012 due to the rapid adoption of tablets and smartphones. At that time, only 15 percent of adults owned all three gadgets. The survey data reported that 30- to 49-year-olds are most likely to own multiple devices, with half owning all three.

Disparate Ownership of Technology

People who are affluent and have a college education are also more likely to own multiple devices. Whites are more likely than blacks to have all three in their possession, while men and women are equal in that regard. Half of adults who have not completed high school do not own any of these devices.

Previous research found that owners of multiple digital devices use the Internet habitually – they go online from multiple locations and are much more likely than others to utilize the Internet while on the go. Those people are also more likely to have profiles on various social media platforms and take their online privacy more seriously.

Eighteen percent of adults own only one of the three devices. Among single-device owners, 60 percent have a laptop or desktop, compared with 34 percent whose only gadget is a smartphone; for 7 percent, their sole device is a tablet. Although most Americans own at least one of those devices, a portion of the population does not have any digital tools at their disposal: Pew added that 16 percent of Americans do not have a smartphone, desktop/laptop or tablet.

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