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AP, LTW

Latino adults are increasing their use of the Internet faster than other ethnic groups, according to a new survey from the and the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Between 2006 and 2008, the percentage of adult Latinos in the U.S. who used the Internet grew to 64 percent from 54 percent, according to the survey. Among whites, Internet use increased to 76 percent from 72 percent. Blacks saw the smallest overall gain – two percentage points to 63 percent.

Meanwhile, the percentage of people using broadband connections continues to grow even as the levels of Internet usage overall remain stable.

(For the complete survey results, click here.)

The survey shows:

• “Whereas Latinos have gained markedly in overall internet use, the pattern of home internet access has changed very little. In 2006, 79% of Latinos who were online had internet access at home, while in 2008, this number was 81%. White and black internet users show a similar leveling off. In 2006, 92% of white internet users had a home connection, compared with 94% in 2008. In 2006, 84% of African American internet users had a home connection, compared with 87% in 2008.

• “While there has been little increase in the likelihood of having a home connection among internet users, rates of broadband connection have increased dramatically for Hispanics, as well as for whites and blacks. In 2006, 63% of Hispanics with home internet access had a broadband connection; in 2008 this number was 76%. For whites, there was a 17 percentage point increase in broadband connection from 65% to 82%, and for blacks, the increase was from 63% in 2006 to 78% in 2008.”

Some key findings of the report regarding Hispanics:

• "While U.S.-born Latinos experienced a two percentage point increase in internet use from 75% in 2006 to 77% in 2008, foreign-born Latinos experienced a 12 percentage point increase during the same period, from 40% to 52%.

• "In 2006, 31% of Latinos lacking a high school degree reported ever going online; in 2008, this number was 41%. In comparison, Latinos with higher levels of education experienced three to four percentage point increases in internet use.

• "Internet use among Latinos residing in households with annual income less than $30,000 increased 17 percentage points from 2006 to 2008. For Latinos in households earning $30,000 to $49,999 annually, internet use increased two percentage points, and for Latinos in households earning $50,000 or more annually, there was no change in internet use."

Latinos who were born in the U.S. were much more likely to go online than those born outside the U.S. This gap persisted even after accounting for differences in education levels, household income and English proficiency, the report said.

Poor Latinos went online less than those with higher incomes. But overall, groups that traditionally have had low rates of Internet use were increasingly embracing the Web. In 2006, for example, 31 percent of Latinos without a high school diploma reported ever going online. In 2008, this number grew to 41 percent.

The report, which Pew released Tuesday, focused on technology use among Latinos, whites and African Americans between 2006 and 2008. It consisted of eight telephone surveys, three conducted for the Pew Hispanic Center, and five for the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The five Pew Internet surveys had sample sizes ranging from 2,251 to 4,001 adults and had margins of error between 1.7 percentage points and 2.4 percentage points.

The three Pew Hispanic Center surveys each sampled between 1,540 and 4,016 U.S. Latinos and had margins of error ranging from 2.4 percentage points to 3.8 percentage points.