Higher Income, Hispanic Adults and Women Are More Likely to Use Fitness Trackers, Per Pew Survey

Thirty-one percent of Americans who live in a household with annual earnings of $75,000 or more regularly wear a fitness tracker, according to a survey by Pew Research Center. By contrast, 20 percent of Americans who live in households with annual income of $30,000 to $74,999 regularly use fitness trackers and only 12 percent of Americans with income under $30,000 regularly wear them.

This finding was one of several from a survey of 4,272 American adults conducted in June 2019 by the Pew Research Center. The survey also segmented out usage by education, race, gender and age.

Overall, 21 percent of American adults regularly wear a fitness tracker or smart watch, according to the survey.

Here is a breakdown of usage by various demographic factors:

  • Use by education level: college graduates plus higher education (27 percent), some college (25 percent), high school graduate or less (15 percent)
  • Use by race: Hispanic (26 percent), black (23 percent), white (20 percent)
  • Use by age: 18-49-year-olds (25 percent), 50 years old or older (17 percent)
  • Use by gender: women (25 percent), men (18 percent)
  • Use by location: suburban (24 percent), urban (20 percent), rural (18 percent)

Pew also asked how comfortable groups were in sharing data from their wearables with medical researchers for the purpose of understanding the link between exercise and heart disease. Forty-one percent said it was acceptable to share this data with researchers while 35 percent said it was unacceptable and 22 percent were unsure. When broken down by race, 49 percent of Hispanic adults, 46 of black adults and 39 percent of white adults said it was acceptable. Younger Americans were more willing to share this data with 47 percent of people under 50 years old saying it was acceptable while 35 percent of those 50 and older said it was acceptable.

People who regularly wear fitness trackers were more likely to say sharing of this data was acceptable (53 percent) compared to those who don’t use wearables (38 percent).