Who does all the text messaging? Young adults by far.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project published the results of their texting study, showing that young adults text more than anyone else. The report refers to a lot of averages across demographics, but it seems that there were a lot of heavy texters driving up those averages. The medians are a lot lower. The chart above shows the latter.

Even the median for young adults is still high though relative to other groups.

At 29, I’m right at the edge of that young adult group, and I text maybe once or twice a month on average. Forty per day seems outrageously high. Kids these days.


  • Cellphone owners send/receive an average of 10 messages a day. Men send/receive an average of 10 messages a day. Women send/receive an average of 15 a day. Something wrong with these numbers?

    • I think that’s because the chart refers to medians not averages. If it were an average number of texts then you’d be spot on, but that analysis doesn’t work with medians.

  • Yes, the number should be in between 10 and 15 even if you take the % men and women into account.

  • 1-2 text messages _per month_? your American is definitely showing ;)
    in the UK, people would rather text than call. highly unusual for a friend to call, unless it’s something time-critical. lots of folks have unlimited messaging packages. it’s the norm, not the exception here. suspect a lot of the rest of the world is more like the UK than the US in that respect.

    • Its like that here in America, too. He isn’t representative of all of us. (Besides, hes 29, practically a dinosaur)

  • I find the conclusion that lower incomes and lower education send more text messages a bit spurious, since the age bracket 18-29 obvious contains more people that are still finishing education, and do not yet have a job.

  • Does this cover non-traditional text messaging? For example Blackberry Messenger and other app based messaging such as Viber, which are both increasingly popular across smartphones (and countries) to keep costs down.

  • Nathan, how long will it take you to completely understand the “iPhones are mostly used for…” part of the infographic here: http://mashable.com/2011/09/25/iphone-5-infographic/ (Also take not of the written percentages and compare those against with widths of the bars.) How could that have been done better?

  • Doesn’t anyone else find it big that the people that text the most ALSO call the most?? The fact that young people text a lot is completely unsurprising to me, but the fact that they ALSO call the most! I guess the older, or whiter, or with lower education level you are, the most you just communicate with each other period? Or is it that other people are using email more…? I wonder.

  • There will be 7-8 trillion texts sent this year (source: ctia). That is 3.5x what it was in 2010 with 2 trillion world wide. It is the second largest repository of private data.

  • How did you make these graphs?