Online blacks are comparatively more likely than whites to have used the Internet for activities that relate to economic advancement and significant quality-of-life issues. More than half of online African-Americans (51%) have used the Internet to get information about a job, compared to 37% of whites who have done that. More than a third of African-Americans (35%) have used the Web to hunt for a place to live, compared to 27% of whites. Online blacks are also more likely than online whites to have used the Internet for school-related research or job training.
African-Americans also have sampled some the entertainment features of the Internet relatively more than whites. Fully 73% of blacks have gone online “just for fun,” compared to 61% of whites who have done the same. Blacks are more likely than whites to have used Internet multimedia – 60% have looked at or listened to a video or audio clip while online; 48% have played a game online; and 29% have downloaded music from the Web.
When it comes to the general hunt for information on the Web, the behavior of online whites and African-Americans is relatively similar. Both groups have used the Web in similar proportions to get general news and news about politics, to research product information and travel-related information, to get material from Web sites run by federal, state or local government agencies, get health information, and do work-related research. Online whites are slightly more likely than online African-Americans to have sought financial information online and to have checked out weather reports.
The one striking difference between the races related to online information gathering comes in the area of religious and spiritual material. Online blacks are 65% more likely to have sought such material on the Web than online whites. Some 33% of online blacks have hunted for such information online, while just 20% of whites have done it. This is a particularly popular activity with African-American women over age 30.
Online transactions are a somewhat different story. Online whites are more than twice as likely as online blacks to have participated in Web-based auctions and whites are much more likely to have bought products on the Internet. However, both races are equally as likely to have done banking online, made a travel reservation, and bought or sold stocks.