Use the dashboard to track key data trends, follow central storylines, and explore innovative
examples of the changing form of information in an evolving digital age.
(as of Aug 2012)
(as of April 2012)
In the mid-1990s and early 2000s, the internet was a niche medium with mass potential. In 1995, only 14% of Americans were online. Not until 2000 did internet use reach half the adult population. Today, 81% of all American adults are online. Among those ages 18 to 29, internet access is nearly universal — 94%. See the full trend and demographics
Broadband access was barely measurable at the turn of the century. Not until 2008 had a majority of Americans switched to broadband connections. Today, two-thirds (66%) of U.S. households have high-speed internet. This speed has transformed the rudimentary web into a rich platform for interactive, multimedia digital content.
For more than a decade, there was one window to the internet — a web browser on a personal computer. Beginning with the introduction of the iPhone and its operating system in 2007, the adoption of internet-connected smartphones and touch devices has been rapid. Today 45% of U.S. adults have smartphones, and 31% have digital tablets.
Two decades into the digital era, the internet is emerging as a primary source of news on national and international issues — a trend that coincides with the widespread adoption of internet-connected mobile devices. The internet surpassed radio as a news source in 2003, overtook newspapers in 2008, and is closing the gap with television. See full trend
Since their emergence in the middle of the last decade, social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter have transformed the web into an online water cooler conversation millions of voices strong. Uptake has been swift. In 2005, only 5% used social networks such as Facebook and Myspace. Eight years later, a majority of U.S. adults (53%) use social media.
Internet Penetration% of U.S. adults onlineSource: Pew Internet & American Life Project
Broadband Penetration% of U.S. adults with a broadband internet connection in their homesSource: Pew Internet & American Life Project
Smartphone Penetration% of U.S. adults who own a smartphoneSources: Pew Internet & American Life Project and Nielsen
Tablet Penetration% of U.S. adults who own a tablet computerSources: Pew Internet & American Life Project
Use of the Internet for News% of U.S. adults who use the internet as a primary source of news on national and international issuesSource: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
Online Social Networking Use% of U.S. adults who use online social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Myspace, Twitter)Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project
Digital Information Showcase
Submit examples to center [at] digitalinfo.org or tweet to @jeffcdi.