New York: Sixty six percent of Asian community in the US owns smartphones, making them the leading users of such devices in the country, according to the findings of a new survey.

As many as sixty-six percent of Asians, 56 percent of Hispanics and 55 percent of African-Americans use smartphones to check e-mails, play games and surf the Web, the Neilson study found.

Around 55.5 percent of Americans are now owners of smartphones, but for white people, the numbers makes up just 45 percent, the lowest of any ethnic group, the 'New York
Post' reported.

The report seems surprising in light of data showing a widening economic gap between whites and minorities.

One explanation for the higher smartphone penetration among minorities can be attributed to age, the report said.

More young people buy smartphones than older people, with 66 percent of those aged 18 to 29 owning them, compared with just 11 percent of those over 65, the report noted.

The need to own a smartphone among young people, dubbed digital natives, is so great that even the majority of those making less than 15,000 dollars a year have one, according to the report.

"It's become as necessary to your life as owning a car used to be," said Thelma Young, a graduate student.

"A lot of minorities can't afford Internet in their home. Since they're already paying a phone bill, they rely heavily on their smartphones to jump over the digital divide," she said.

In 2011, sixty six percent of white American adults had a high-speed broadband connection at home, compared with 51 percent of Hispanics and 49 percent of blacks, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

A soaring 80 percent of Asian-Americans, who have the highest income of any ethnic group in the country, had broadband at home.

(Agencies)

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