(Washington) ­ Half of Hispanic adults use the Internet and email, according to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The online Hispanic population grew 25% over a period of twelve months, as young people, women, and those from modest income households flocked online.

The ongoing survey work of the Pew Internet Project shows that Hispanics are enthusiastic users of the Internet. Some 78% say they go online at least three-to-five times a week and 61% of Hispanics with Internet access are online on a typical day.

Hispanic Internet users enjoy using email to sustain and enrich relationships and they find the Internet a valuable source of information for things like news, financial data, product information, and trip planning.

Compared to online whites, Hispanics with Internet access are more likely to have browsed the Web for fun, listened to music online, downloaded music, played online games, looked for information about books and movies, and sampled audio and video clips.

Hispanics have also gone online for more serious purposes: 61% have done school-research or job training; 51% have sought health and medical information; 50% have conducted work-related research; 41% have done job hunting; 28% have browsed for new places to live.

“This is a very engaged group of Internet users,” says Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet Project. “And its online pursuits are very mainstream.”

When money is involved, online Hispanics are not quite as likely as whites to have made online purchases or participated in auctions. But they are just as likely to have performed online banking and online stock trading.

  • 41% of online Hispanics have bought goods or services online, compared to 49% of whites.
  • 20% of online Hispanics have done online banking, compared to 17% of online whites.
  • 12% of online Hispanics have bought and sold stocks online, compared with 13% of online whites.
  • 9% of online Hispanics have participated in an online auction, compared with 17% of online whites. >br>
    “One major reason Hispanics are embracing the Internet is its power to enhance users’ lives,” says Tom Spooner, a Research Specialist at the Pew Internet Project, and principal author of the report. For instance, majorities of Hispanics with Internet access report it has improved their connection to their families and friends. Some 52% of online Hispanics say it has helped them pursue their hobbies; 41% say it has improved their ability to get health and medical information; 37% say that using the Internet has improved their ability to shop; and 33% say the Internet has helped them manage their finances.

    “Despite socioeconomic and sometimes language barriers, this is a group that will not be left behind technologically,” says Jessika Wellisch, a Research Fellow with the Pew Internet Project, who is available for interviews about the report conducted in Spanish. A Spanish version of the report’s summary of findings is available by calling one of the contact numbers on this release or on our Web site on the main page of the Hispanics and the Internet report. ###