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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

23% of Americans Without Internet

NEW YORK -- Despite all the talk about a connected world, the proportion of U.S. adults who have never used the Internet and do not live in an Internet-enabled home has remained almost unchanged since 2002, according to a study recently released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

In 2005, 22 percent of American adults were "disconnected," compared to 23 percent in 2002.

"There's a group of Americans who are really hard-core offline, truly disconnected," said Susannah Fox, the author of the report. Fox said that the truly disconnected were mostly over age 65, and less educated than the rest of the population. Their lack of access means, for example, that the government has relied heavily on mailings to get the word out about the new Medicare drug benefit.

As the influx of new Internet users has slowed, the U.S. online population has become proportionately more experienced. The study found 79 percent of Internet users had had access for four years or more, compared with 52 percent in 2002. "There aren't any new recruits," Fox said. "It's online veterans who are signing up for a second or third tour."