Latinos Online: Hispanics in the U.S. Comprise a Growing Segment of the Online "Communidad."

Article excerpt

In an increasingly wired United States, only slightly more than half of Latinos were using online media until the last few years. Many of those offline were recent arrivals in the country, lacking the resources--including education, language skills, and income--needed to join the digital community.

However, in a very short amount of time, Internet use among Latinos in the United States has rapidly grown. The Pew Hispanic Center reports that, between 2006 and 2008, the number of Latino adults going online increased from 54% to 64%. Latinos are now slightly more wired than African Americans, according to the Pew Center study.

Internet Use, by Race and Ethnicity

          2006  2008

White      72%   76%
Black      61%   64%
Hispanic   54%   63%

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Note: Table made from bar graph

What's more, the study shows evidence that the increase in overall Internet usage among Latinos is largely due to those with less education, less income, and less English language proficiency. These groups grew a great deal percentage-wise, due in no small part to the fact that they had the most room for improvement. College-educated Latinos, for example, are already going online in droves, so there's not as much margin for growth.

U.S. born, English-speaking Latinos are accessing the Internet much more than foreign-born Latinos in the United States, indicating that language continues to be a barrier preventing individuals from taking advantage of new technology. …