Who Owns Smartphones

Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 10.08.32 AMThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines a low-income household as one with an income of 80% or less of the national median income, and according to a 2012 Sentier research report, the nation’s median income in 2011 was $50,020 (Green, Coder, 2012). This then defines a 2011 low-income household as a household earning $40,016 or less per year. The median income for African American households falls below this at $32,068, and the same for Latino households at $37,759 (USA Today, 2012, based on US Census Bureau). Yet, recent Pew Research (2012) tells us that African Americans and Latinos owned 14% more smartphones than Caucasians in 2011. In essence, a large proportion of underrepresented minorities (URM) are living in low-income households, and accessing the internet through smartphones. Also, nearly half (46%) of all American adults now own smartphones. Smartphone ownership jumped by 12% nationally in less than a year, by people earning less than $30,000. Remarkably, Millennials drove smartphone ownership in 2012, with 71% of all adults age 25 to 34 owning smartphones, and 67% of adults aged 18 to 25 owning smartphones (Smith, 2012).


  1. I am a technology immigrant, while my son’s are technology natives. I don’t seem to be smart enough to pick up a Smart Phone and use it … but society is demanding that I had better figure out how to use it in my teaching practice. I need a tutor.

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