America’s zeal for getting things fast—whether we’re talking same-day delivery or video on demand—also extends to news consumption.
A Pew Research Center survey finds that Americans are increasingly more likely to get news through mobile devices (57%) than via desktop or laptop computers (30%).
For news via mobile, it’s been a steady growth story: The current tally of Americans who consume news on a mobile device is more than double the 21% who said they did so in 2013, which was the first year Pew asked the question. But the proliferation of news via mobile doesn’t necessarily mean consumption on desktop and laptop computers is in decline. In fact, Pews says, those percentages have remained relatively stable.
Unsurprisingly, younger Americans are substantially more likely than their elders to regularly get news on a mobile device. Pew says 72% of adults 18-29 get news this way, compared with 38% of those 65 and older. Meanwhile, the 65-and-older demographic (34%) is more likely to get news on a desktop or laptop computer (23%).
Pew also studied the question through the lenses of race and partisanship. It found that 63% of Hispanic adults in the U.S. often get their news via mobile, compared with 54% of whites. However, more white adults (31%) consume news on desktop or laptop computers than their Hispanic counterparts (23%). Pew says African-American adults are in the middle on this question.
There’s no major distinction to be made between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to desktop news consumption, Pew says, but mobile is a different story: The survey found that 62% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents often get their news this way, compared with 53% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
There’s a significant chasm in news consumption when viewed along the lines of formal education. Adults with a college degree (65%) are more likely to consume news on mobile than those with a high-school education or less (49%). College-educated are also more likely to get news on desktop and laptop computers.
Pew also broke down the question according to gender. The research organization says men and women get news on mobile at similar rates, but men (35%) are more likely than women (24%) too often get news on a desktop or laptop.
Pew’s research notes that the adoption of mobile devices for news consumption isn’t just driven by younger Americans. Some of the sharpest growth in recent years, it turns out, is courtesy of the 65-and-older demographic.
Pew says 38% of Americans 65 and older often get news via mobile device—roughly six times the share in 2013. In fact, these older Americans are now even slightly more likely to get news from a mobile device than from a desktop or laptop (38% vs. 34%).