Internet usage of Generation X in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Generation X is the term used to describe the demographic group after Baby Boomers. These individuals were born between mid-1960s and early 1980s. It was found that 93 percent of Americans aged between 30 and 49 years are internet users. Generation Xers heavily utilize mobile internet connections – the Gen X's global mobile internet usage rate is the second highest, only behind Millennials’ usage rate. In the U.S., mobile app users aged 35 to 44 years used mobile apps via smartphones for an average of 80 hours per month in 2016. The average use of tablet apps of this age group stood at 17.3 hours during the same time frame.

Social networking is a popular online activity of Gen X internet users. Facebook is the social network with the highest reach within this age group; about 84 percent of Americans aged between 35 and 54 years old used Facebook in 2016. Other popular social networking sites include Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. Another popular online activity among this age group is watching online videos. Online users between 35 and 49 years old spent a weekly average of 169 minutes watching online video. This average is the second highest among all age groups. Some users often turn to their smartphone to consume video content, as online users aged between 35 and 49 years old stated that they spend an average of 27 minutes per week consuming videos on their mobile devices.

Despite their heavy internet usage, Generation X users are relatively concerned about taking time to disconnect from their online activities. In 2016, about 58 percent adults aged between 31 and 40 years old stated that they had planned to disconnect during their vacation at some point in the past year. This share is higher than the total average which stood at 50 percent during the measured time. It was also found that 42 percent of the respondents aged between 41 and 50 years old planned to go on a vacation with the intention of being offline.

In line with the overall trend, Generation Xers turn to the internet to shop for products and services. In 2016, about 54 percent of Generation Xers had a Prime membership at Amazon, the leading e-retailer in the United States. Although home computers still accounted for about 61 percent of Generation X’s online shopping activity in 2015, mobile shopping is becoming increasingly relevant for Gen X's online shoppers. Some of their most popular mobile shopping activities include looking up store information, browse products, mobile coupons and price comparisons - more than 50 percent of Generation X online shoppers compare prices online before making a significant purchase.

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