Immigrants: America’s Next Mobile Tech Opportunity

Immigrants: America's Next Mobile Tech Opportunity

Immigrants are heavier users of mobile technology than the overall U.S. population

Immigrants are more robust, interactive users of mobile communications than the overall US population. So says a recent study by The Welcoming Center For New Pennsylvanians. The study, entitled Digital Diaspora, surveyed immigrant adults in Philadelphia and documented their use of mobile technology.

Key findings are:

  • 73% of immigrants use their mobile phones to send e-mail, including 43% who do so “often” –  far higher than the 38% reported for U.S. cell phone owners.
  • 95% of immigrant respondents report using their mobile phones to send text messages compared to  73% of U.S. adult cell phone users.
  • 44% of immigrant respondents reported using video chat compared to just 13% of U.S. smart phone owners.
  • 45% 0f immigrants surveyed reported that they use their mobile phone to bank/pay bills online compared to 18% for US cell phone owners.
  • 65% of immigrants use their phones to access and update social media sites compared to only 29% of U.S. cell phone owners

Beyond personal communications, however, immigrant survey respondents demonstrated significant engagement in producing and sharing content. Immigrant respondents were more likely than the U.S. public overall to make and upload video or audio recordings, a trend that was matched by their high levels of news consumption and social media sharing: more than half (57%) of immigrant respondents reported listening to radio via mobile phones, and nearly two thirds (65%) reported using their smart phones to update Facebook or other social media sites.

Download the full report (PDF)

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