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25 percent of adult Americans own a tablet, research reveals

The number of adult Americans who own tablet computers continues to grow, hitting 25 percent in the first eight months of 2012, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

In survey results released Thursday, Pew reveals the 6 percent increase in tablet ownership over the think tank's findings in January, and a 21 percent increase over tablet ownership in September 2010.

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The survey also found that more women (27 percent) than men (24 percent) own tablets.

Tablets are most popular among adults in the 30- to 49-year-old group (31 percent), followed by 50- to 64-year-olds (27 percent), 18- to 29-year-olds (25 percent) and those older than 65 (13 percent).

Tablet ownership is evenly divided among white (25 percent) and black (26 percent) Americans. Some 20 percent of Hispanic adults own tablets, according to Pew.

Nearly half of Americans who earn more than $75,000 (47 percent) own tablets; and nearly a third (32 percent) of those earning from $50,000 to $74,999 have purchased slates. Market penetration at lower income levels is less, the researchers find, with only 10 percent of adults earning $30,000 or less and 27 percent earning $30,000 to $49,999 owning tablets.

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As might be expected, the likelihood of an adult owning a tablet increases with their education level. Some 41 percent of adults with a college degree or more education own tablets, compared to 27 percent with some college education, 18 percent with a high school diploma and seven percent with no high school diploma.

Pew's researchers did not identify what brands of tablets its survey respondents owned.

It also did not include electronic readers in its survey, as it did in January. At that time, Pew pegged ownership of tablet computing devices at 29 percent.

Pew's survey findings are consistent with research reports that have shown tablet sales growing throughout the year. For example, Canalys  Research reported in August that tablet shipments for the quarter ending June 30 with 24 million units, a 75 percent increase over the same period in 2011. By contrast, PC shipments grew only 11.7 percent for the same comparative period.

tablets, researchPew Research
Tablet ownership by income, 2012

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