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Report finds technology usage increasing among Latinos

LatinaLista — It’s only fitting that the Pew Hispanic Center would release a report on the state of Latinos and digital technology during this week, otherwise known as Social Media Week.


According to the report, Latinos and Digital Technology, 2010, there are several key factors that determine Latino usage of technology — nativity, education, language and economic levels.

Several notable findings of the report are:

Hispanic cell phone owners are more likely than white cell phone owners to access the internet (40% vs. 34%), email (36% vs. 31%), or instant message (45% vs. 24%) from their cell phone.

Meanwhile, Hispanic cell phone owners are less likely than black cell phone owners to access the internet from their cell phone (40% vs. 51%).

Native-born Latinos are more likely than foreign-born Latinos to be online (81% vs. 54%); to have a home internet connection (71% vs. 45%); to have a home broadband connection (60% vs. 35%); and to own a cell phone (86% vs. 70%).

From 2009 to 2010, cell phone ownership among the native born increased six percentage points (from 80% to 86%). This increase was driven primarily by increased cell phone ownership among Latinos who are the children of immigrants, or the so- called second generation (from 79% to 88%).

Spanish-dominant Hispanics trail bilingual and English-dominant Hispanics in internet use, home internet access, home broadband access and cell phone ownership.

While the overall internet usage rate among Spanish-dominant Latinos remains low, the share using the internet has increased rapidly–from 36% in 2009 to 47% in 2010.

Among Hispanics, higher levels of educational attainment and household income are linked to higher rates of internet use, home internet access, having a home broadband connection, and cell phone ownership.

What is ironic about the report is that technology adoption is increasing for Latinos overall  and researchers found that those Latinos who had the same educational and income levels as whites shared similar rates of digital technology usage.

Controlling for income and education erases the differences for the highly educated and most affluent, but differences still persist for those with no college experience, and those earning less than $50,000 annually.

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