Gadget ownership broken down by generation

Pew Internet study shows Millennials can't do without their cellphones

If you are a U.S. citizen anywhere from 18 to 34 years old, there's a 95 percent chance that you own a cellphone, according to new research from Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

(Also see: Study: Internet heavily used for seeking health info)

And there's only a 1 percent chance that you, a Millennial, own neither a cellphone, desktop or laptop computer, iPod or mp3 player, electronic game console, ebook reader or tablet. Which, I think, makes you Amish.

The study attempted to sort out gadget ownership by generation. There's a handy chart below, but here are some interesting highlights:

* Cellphone ownership declines as generations get older, though 84 percent of Older Boomers (57-65) own the devices. The only age group in which less than 50 percent own cellphones is what Pew calls the "G.l. Generation" (age 75 and older). Forty-eight percent of them own cellphones. Pew doesn't make a distinction between cellphones and smartphones. Hopefully it will in the next survey.

* Desktop computer ownership peaks in the Gen X generation (35-46), with 69 percent owning one of those quaint machines.

* Fifty-two percent of all adult Americans own laptops, but only Millennials (70 percent) and Gen X (61 percent) top 50 percent.

* Three percent of the G.I. Generation own iPods or mp3 players. Big-band music never sounded so good.

* Interestingly, the generation with the highest percentage of ebook reader ownership is Younger Boomers (47-56), at 7 percent, followed by Older Boomers at 6 percent.

* The youngest two generations (Millennials and Gen X) lead in tablet ownership, with 5 percent each.

Pew Internet & American Life Project

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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