Proportion of Households with Computers Hits 15%

The Wall Street Journal

March 26, 1991

Washington -- The proportion of households with home computers nearly doubled between 1984 and 1989, according to the Census Bureau. But a substantial portion of adults and children in these households spend much of their computer time playing video games.

According to a report on computer use in the U.S., 15% of U.S. households now have personal computers. The percentage in 1984 was 8.2%.

Children were found to use computers more than adults. While 46% of all children regularly use computers, only 28% of adults do. In both groups, use has substantially increased since 1984, when 30% of all children and 18% of all adults reported they used computers at home, school or work. White children were found to be more likely to have computers at home than black children (27% vs. 11%).

Though the educational value of computers has been widely praised, children with home computers use them most often to play video games. The report shows that 84% of children with home computers use them for video games. Schoolwork is a distant second at 40%.

For adults, 44% use their home computers to play video. This ranks second only to word processing, which is used by 62% of adults with home computers. Home word processing is on the rise since 1984, when it was used by only 33% of adults with home computers.


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