While Latinos have long been touted as early adapters of new technologies, a new study released by the Pew Hispanic Center found that technology use among foreign-born Latinos continues to lag significantly behind that of their U.S.-born counterparts.

The difference was especially pronounced when it came to Internet use. While 85% of native-born Latinos age 16 and older go online, only 51% of foreign-born Latinos do so. As far as cell phone use, 80% of native-born Latinos use one compared with 72% of foreign-born.

While the rate of technology use by native-born Latinos was high, the discrepancy with their foreign-born counterparts had an effect on overall technology use by Latinos as a group; some 64% of Latinos age 18 and older go online, compared with 78% of non Latinos. The difference is accentuated among youths ages 16-25. While 96% of non Hispanics age 16-25 go online, only 77% of Hispanics in the same age range do so.

Other factors, including age and language preference, influenced cell phone and Internet use. For example, 65% of all Latinos 16 and older go online. But while 84% of Latinos 16-19 use the Internet, only 61% of Latinos age 26 or older report doing so.

The results of the study, published July 28, were based on the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s (PIAL) 2009 Reputation Management Survey, which polled 2,253 adults between August and September 2009.

Results for non-Hispanics ages 16 and 17 are based on the PIAL 2009 Parent-Teen Cell Phone Survey, conducted from June to September 2009 among 800 teens 12-17 and their parents.

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