Percentage of Adults Who Own E-Readers and Tablets Is Relatively Small

Despite all the publicity surrounding tablets (such as the iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and Motorola Xoom) and e-readers (such as the Kindle or Nook), the percentages of adults who currently own tablets and e-readers are still well below the percentage of adults who own laptop and desktop computers and cell phones.

According to a survey of 2,277 adults conducted from April 26 to May 22, 2011 by The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, only 8% of adults over age 18 own tablet computers and 12% own e-readers. This includes 3% of survey respondents who own both an e-reader and a tablet computer. Just 9% of adults own an e-book reader, but not a tablet computer. And only 5% of adults own a tablet computer, but not an e-reader.

In contrast, 56% of adults own a laptop, 57% own a desktop, and 83% own a cell phone.

Chart from Pew Research on E Readers and Tablet Ownership

The survey found that the most likely owners of e-readers are Hispanic adults, adults younger than 65, college graduates, and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000. Over the past six months, ownership of e-readers among parents has grown more rapidly than it has about non-parents.

According to the Pew report entitled “E-Readership Ownership Doubles in Six Months” by Kristen Purcell, similar demographic patterns of ownership exist for tablet computers, although parents are no more likely than non-parents to own these devices. In the case of tablet computers, men are slightly more likely than women to own tablets.

The survey found that since last November, e-readership ownership doubled from 6% to 12%, while tablet ownership has grown more slowly. In May 2011, 8% of adults reported owning a tablet computer, compared to 7% in January, 2011 and 5% in November, 2010.

You can read (or download) the 7-page report on the Pew Internet website.


Pew Research Report: E-Reader Ownership Doubles in Six Months by Kristen Purcell