January 18, 2022

New Global Communication Usage Statistics: "Texting, Social Networking Popular Worldwide"

The report was released this morning.

From the Pew Research Center:


Text messaging is a global phenomenon. Across the 21 countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, a median of 75% of cell phone owners say they text. Texting is widespread in both wealthy nations and the developing world. In fact, it is most common among cell phone owners in two of the poorest nations surveyed: Indonesia and Kenya.

Many also use their mobile phones to take pictures or video. A median of 50% use their cell phones in this way in the 21 countries polled. Fully 72% of Japanese cell phone owners take pictures or video, as do roughly six-in-ten in Mexico (61%), Spain (59%) and Egypt (58%). Fewer users access the internet via cell phone, although more than four-in-ten mobile phone owners use their device to go online in Israel (47%), Japan (47%) and the United States (43%).


The survey, conducted March 21 to May 15, also finds that social networking is popular in many nations around the globe. This is especially true in Israel (53%) and the U.S. (50%), where half or more say they use social networking websites. More than four-in-ten use these sites in Britain (43%), Russia (43%) and Spain (42%). Social networking is generally more common in higher income nations largely due to the fact that wealthier countries have higher rates of internet access.


In most of the countries surveyed, there has been only marginal change in social networking use since 2010. Two notable exceptions are Egypt and Russia – countries where the role of social media in recent political upheaval has been the subject of considerable attention. In both nations, usage has increased by ten percentage points over the past year, from 18% in 2010 to 28% in 2011 in Egypt and from 33% to 43% in Russia.

Social networking also varies considerably by age in almost all countries surveyed. In 13 of 21 countries, majorities of adults under age 30 use social networking sites. The only country in which even a quarter of those 50 or older engages in social networking is the U.S. (26%). There are also notable education gaps regarding the use of these technologies. For example, 76% of Chinese cell phone owners with a college degree use the internet on their device, while just 34% of those who did not complete college use their phones in this way. Education level is also a significant factor in social networking usage, though the importance of education varies widely by country. The largest differences between college graduates and those without a college degree are found in Egypt (+71) and China (+51).

Direct to Full Text Report and All Charts ||| PDF Version (30 pages)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.