When it comes to socializing and communicating with friends, young Latinos (ages 16 to 25) make extensive use of mobile technology. Half say they text message (50%) their friends daily, and 45% say they talk daily with friends on a cell phone. Other communication platforms are less widely used for socializing. For example, fewer than one-in-five young Latinos (18%) say they talk daily with their friends on a landline or home phone, and just 10% say they email their friends daily. These findings are based on a new analysis of data from a nationwide telephone survey of Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

Use of mobile communication technologies differs notably among young Latinos by nativity. Two-thirds (65%) of the native born say they communicate with their friends by text message daily, while just 26% of the foreign born do so. And more than half (55%) of the native born talk daily by cell phone with their friends, while just 29% of the foreign born say they do the same.

These differences are explained in part by the fact that the native born are more likely than the foreign born to have a cell phone in the first place. Overall, eight-in-ten (79%) young Latinos say they use a cell phone, with use greater among the native born than the foreign born—84% versus 70% (Livingston, 2010).

Even though text messaging and cell phone calls are the most widely used mediums of social communication among young Latinos, they use these platforms less extensively than do their non-Latino counterparts. Among 16- and 17-year-olds,1 just under half (49%) of Hispanics text daily, compared with 64% of non-Hispanics. When it comes to talking with friends daily via cell phone, there is less of a difference—44% of Hispanics say they do, compared with half (51%) of non-Hispanics who say the same.

Hispanics are the nation’s largest and youngest minority ethnic group. In 2008, there were 46.9 million Hispanics in the U.S., representing 15.4% of the total U.S. population. Among young people, Hispanics represent an even larger share. Some 18%, or 7.5 million, of those ages 16 to 25 are Hispanic (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).

Other key findings:

Language: While 68% of English-dominant and half (50%) of bilingual young Latinos use text messaging daily for communication, just 19% of Spanish-dominant young Latinos do the same.

Gender: Young Hispanic males are less likely than young Hispanic females to use social networking sites for communication—19% versus 27%. In contrast, young female Hispanics are less likely than young Hispanic males to communicate face-to-face outside school or work with their friends—15% versus 26%.

Hispanic Youths vs. Hispanic Adults: Hispanics ages 16 to 25 are more likely than Hispanics ages 26 and older to use mobile technologies to communicate with their friends. While half (50%) of young Latinos use texting to communicate, just 21% of older Latinos do the same.

Latino Youths vs. Other Youths: Among those ages 16 to 17, Latino youths are less likely than non-Latino youths to communicate daily via a landline or home phone with their friends—13% versus 32%.

Read here the full study.

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