Social Network Popularity Varies by Demographic

Debra Askanase, Ragan, March 25, 2013

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published “The Demographics of Social Media Users,” detailing the demographics of social media users by age, ethnicity, household income, gender, urbanity, education and platform.


A few data points stand out:

  • Urban African-Americans aged 18-29 use Twitter and Instagram more than other demographics. While the study does not include Americans under age 18, I believe many high school students use both heavily.
  • Tumblr is a young person’s medium. Most users are aged 18-29.
  • Hispanics are heavy users of every social media channel. They are more likely to use social networking sites than Caucasians or African-Americans.
  • Urbanity plays a role. Slightly more social media users live in urban environments than suburban or rural ones. Significantly more Twitter, Instagram and Facebook users live in urban areas than other environments.


Forty percent of all cell phone users in the U.S. access social networks from their mobile phones. African-American and Hispanic young adults aged 18-29 are far more likely to access social networks from their phones than older, white social network users.



For a quick glance at the demographic data, check out this interactive infographic compiled from the study’s results. For highlights of the Pew study related to social networking, Pew offers this summary.


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  • 1776is1984

    yoots probably use em for dats ‘flash mobs’ we all have been experiencing.

    • The__Bobster

      They’re not intelligent enough to develop technology, but they sure can use it to enhance their savagery.

      • MikeofAges

        That’s because, in spite of their supposed socioeconomic and sociocultural disadvantages, on intellectual tests they typically score far higher, and far closer to whites, on the verbal portions than on the abstract, analytical and quantitative portions. Then again, probably, so did Ralph Cramden. Whatever happened to the idea of “living within yourself”? One of the problems black American society has it that it seem to believe what no other group believes, that there should be an exactly equivalent hierarchy between their subsociety and the rest of American society. And if there is not, then the result must be due racism.

        Honestly, does anyone else really care that much so many physics professors, math professors and brain surgeons are Jewish and so many engineers and corporate execs Nordic? Or wheat farmers Scandinavian and truck drivers Anglo Saxon and Scotch-Irish? Or vegetable wholesalers Italian? Get over it and get on with it, please.

        • PesachPatriot

          No one cares that arabs run convenience and liquor stores, indians run hotels, koreans run grocery stores in bad neighborhoods, japanese run sushi places, chinese people own take-out places, mexicans are over represented in ownership of taco trucks or that the NBA is pretty black…..I accept the fact that there aren’t many jewish nascar drivers or baseball and hockey players….i don’t feel like less of a person because of it. This is a pretty good point you make here.

          • MikeofAges

            As to some of the things you note, I do care about them to the extent that they denotes demographic changes that I would rather not see happening. But I am still concerned most about what is happening the me (the collective “me”), not what is happening to the other guy.

            As to why neighborhood businesses in black neighborhoods are not black run, that is something that is in black hands tout entiere. If some of them would start up these businesses and others choose to patronize them, they would succeed as small businesses. If they could create businesses that outsiders wished to patronize and a community that was safe for others to enter and do business in, they would be yet better off.

          • PesachPatriot

            I get what you are saying….but basically everyone who isn’t black is ok with the fact that their group is known for certain professions and occupations and isn’t hugely represented in others….the reason there are no black run businesses in their areas is because no older black person with the capital, credit and business experience to actually run something as a simple as pub or grocery store wants to deal with hood shenanigans, random gunfire or dangerous youfs who will inevitably rob him or her…the only people brave enough and willing to tolerate the nonsense for money are very recent non-white immigrants….the few sensible law abiding blacks figure its easier to just work in white areas and go home every night.

      • ncpride

        Did you see the story about the 17 year old (real) British kid that sold his news app for 30 million? He taught himself how to write programs at age 12. Now, there’s talent!

  • MekongDelta69

    African-American and Hispanic young adults aged 18-29 are far more likely to access social networks from their phones than older, white social network users.


    Yeah – it’s b/c we have something called… oh, what’s that word I’m trying to think of?… It’ll come to me… Oh yeah, I know… It’s called a real life.

    Blacks and browns live in fantasy worlds on their Obamaphones.

    And since when did “urbanity” become a word?!

    • MikeofAges

      Urbanity, I think means having or possessing the quality of being “urbane”, which is not the same thing, quite, as being urban. I’m disgusted enough that word “notoriety”, which is something you definitely don’t want to have (well, not most people) has become an acceptable malapropism used to connote the idea of “noteworthyness”. As in “Magic Johnson’s notoriety has extended beyond the basketball court into the world of business.” I hope not. That’s all I can say.

      • brengunn

        “notoriety”, which is something you definitely don’t want to have
        (well, not most people) has become an acceptable malapropism used to
        connote the idea of “noteworthiness”

        Oh, Jesus! I’m usually not to harsh on language changes, for example, I don’t mind people using ‘literally’ when their meaning is obviously figurative. I can see how that change came about as a means to really emphasize the point, often in a light hearted way.However, using ‘notoriety’ like that is plainly a lack of education. It would be a shame for the word to change for reasons of stupidity.

        • MikeofAges

          It’s just about become standard usage.

  • The__Bobster

    No surprise. When I go to the public lie-berry, the natives using da computas are either on My Spade, Faye’s Spook or some porn site.

    • I went to Harold Washington Library to kill some time one day about a month ago and I was appalled.

      Bucks cruising the library looking for unattended laptops and things to steal. Bums using books to hold up their heads as they slept and drooled on them.

      After hanging out for only an hour (because I couldn’t find a electric plug to juice my laptop or Clear modem) I packed up and thought I would stop in the washroom on the way out since I had seen no one enter or leave in the last few minutes ….. When I opened the door, well, there were people in there and the smell that hit me was so vile I walked 3 blocks to my office building (still have a building pass) and pissed there.

      • bigone4u

        Had an Hispanic woman librarian warn me that the “teens” were into snatching and grabbing laptops. I guess full time cops assigned to libraries is the next step in our increasingly lawless society.

      • MikeofAges

        Real bright. Put it on South State Street and wait for the rest of the world to catch up. Maybe in 100 years it will. In my time in Chicago, in the 60s and 70s, Adams Streets was close to being a skid row, and I doubt it has changed much. in the last 40 years.

        My favorite “Chicago” joke: The first presidents: President Adams. President Jackson. President Monroe. President Madison. President Washington. President Randolph. President Lake. President Wacker.

        I suppose you could go on. President North. President Armitage. President Fullerton. President Belmont. President Addison.

        Oh, and have you heard this one? Q. Who’s the 53rd President. A. Barack Obama.

        I told everyone I could that they did not want a president from a neighborhood that didn’t even have a gas station in it. Or a supermarket. Or a fast food joint.

        But I will say one thing in his favor. Anyone who thinks a guy can’t go to a church for 20 years and not remember what they heard just obviously has never been there.

  • Puggg

    Good. Let ’em. If they post incriminating evidence against themselves on the social networking sites, who are we to tell them no?

  • sbuffalonative

    Go to any urban center and you’ll discover blacks and Hispanics love to talk, often, LOUDLY.

    • saxonsun

      And as I write this, right outside my building is a group of noisy, illegal Mexican construction workers. Ah, life in America!

      • Chican

        If you lazy whites actually worked for a living, america would not need illegals !!

  • Urbanity plays a role. Slightly more social media users live in urban environments than suburban or rural ones.

    Not surprising at all.

    Us city dwellers are literally prisoners in our homes, there is only so much you can do in the city because nearly everything costs money. Also suburban and rural dwellers have a lot more chores that usually must be accomplished, cutting grass or wood, cleaning a pool, feeding animals, etc. I would much rather be in a rural area than an urban area, but being in a rural area and working in Chicago would require a huge amount time travel.

  • joesolargenius

    Well at least those rascals using the social networks can read and use technology , and the computer lets them know when they misspell a their also getting an education in the process. And lets not overlook the fact that this extensive cell phone workout is helping to prepare them for a career in telemarketing .

    • werdyo

      *you’re. i want to correct all of you about all of this horrible misguided racism. but i’ll settle for a grammatical correction.

  • Amren is social media, right? It needs a cell phone app for the “less fortunates” that use their phone to access the internet.

  • I think the explanation for the disparities of usage lies in the african-american and hispanic communities fascination with the witeman’s magic.

    • libertarian 1234

      Yes, I agree.

      Both groups…but especially blacks…are mesmerized by shiny objects that light up.

    • JDInSanDiego

      Imagine what the stats would be like in a world where you had to put together your own cellphone from a kit? Or program it? Or write proper English in order for it to work?

    • CaptainObvious

      When it’s negative, everyone is there to point out if jooz are responsible. When it isn’t, someones gotta balance the scale.

    • bayouboy

      No, I think they are always on the phone because it makes them feel imPO’tan

  • APaige

    How can this be?! What about the ‘digital divide’? OHHH wait…’social networks’ are designed by white racists to keep blacks busy with unproductive tech usage. Soon we will hear the call of stop using social networks and spend time and effort to create new technologies.

  • Jss

    I’m guessing the typical Bantu social network comment is either something about “muh dick” or
    “De Andre and muh cru bee bout 2 jack dis gaz stayshon”.

    • PesachPatriot

      They post the dumbest things ever on social media….stolen merchandise, videos of themselves assaulting the elderly, pics with illegal guns and controlled substances, then when they get caught….its the usual complaint of “da ebil YT police beez rayciss an sheeit” DeMarquies Elkins had some pretty choice stuff on his facebook page, it will be pretty tough to paint him as an aspiring doctor or engineer given some of the pics he has….

  • zone

    Without Obama phones suspect most flash mobs of criminal intent would cease.
    Future of use however may change and wise opt not to carry location tracking devices that can likely be hacked to listen in to every word spoken, whether on the phone or not, and perhaps even stream view through camera lens. Yet, Today the secret hacking seems not necessary since so many incriminate themselves by recording and posting their own criminal activites.

  • [Guest]

    It’s interesting to me that blacks, who possess toxic levels of self-esteem and routinely make lunatic claims about black accomplishments, eagerly make use of the innovations of other races.

    If self-satisfied “African-Americans” want to communicate, they should employ methods devised by blacks. Let ’em whoop and holler or bang sticks on hollow logs or whatever other forms of communication are native to their race.

  • LHathaway

    all the bottom of the chart shows is that blacks and hispanics make more money than men, a white guy. Those who have a higher income are more likely to use social networking, blacks and hispanics are more likely to use social networking. ‘Affirmative action’ seems to be working as planned.

  • TeutonicKnight67

    These devious and cunning Bantus are on social media right at this very moment plotting their next “random” flash mob that will result in a white person being attacked for “no reason”.

    • werdyo


  • bigone4u

    Social networking allows a person to have thousands of “friends” who do not know them and do not care about them in any real sense. Hispanics in particular seek to max out their numbers of friends. It’s a status thing with them. I, as a white person, prefer to find satisfaction in life through real accomplishment, even if it is only something as basic as loving a dog, tending a vegetable garden, or improving my property.

  • IKantunderstand

    You know, call me an old paranoid so and so. I don’t engage in any of the social media crap. Frankly, just another way for the government to keep an eye on you. This website is bad enough.

  • Unperson

    I expect most of their social-media “communication” is what Mr. T used to call “jibber-jabber.” Meaningless, virtually unreadable, profanity-laden Ebonics. The so-called “digital divide” is not a discrepancy in ACCESS to computing, the divide lies in what the various races use their computers FOR.

    Compared to the feral blacks of today, 1980s blacks — even ones with a tough-guy image like Mr. T — seem relatively benign, articulate, and likeable. They are devolving, “or re-africanizing”, if you prefer, at an alarming rate. “Reverting to type.” Going “back to the bush.” Only this time with the benefit of all of Whitey’s latest hi-tech gizmos like smartphones and flatscreens. Technology that they’re incapable of creating themselves… and therefore don’t deserve and can’t be trusted with.

  • Bill

    Low IQ has a lot to do with it. But, let’s be realistic. Anybody who watches those stupid reality shows and shows like “The Voice” are just as intellectually challenged. And I’d bet the demographics of that study would be just the opposite.

  • Garrett Brown

    Because they sit on their butts all day.

  • Soci Net

    Black people and hispanics are more gregarious and less narcissistic than whites. Hence they are more social. The reason is as clear as day..whites are sociopaths.

  • TeutonicKnight67