Who is taking advantage of online sharing economy? And how?

The NTIA recently released info from a recent survey on who is participating in the sharing economy…

In our most recent Internet Use Survey, conducted in 2017, NTIA included questions about participation in the sharing economy for the first time. The results show that a third of Internet users in the U.S. reported selling goods or requesting or offering services from others through online platforms. This compares with the significant majority of Internet users – 69 percent – who reported using the Internet for more traditional e-commerce activities such as online shopping or travel reservations.

Sharing economy participants tend to be younger, have higher incomes and education levels, and live in metropolitan areas, our data reveal.

It turns out the biggest gap in use was between rural and urban users…

The difference between rural and urban participation was most pronounced in how consumers use peer-to-peer services. People living in rural areas are more like to sell goods online than request services. The data show there is a 64 percent difference between metropolitan and non-metropolitan Internet users when it comes to requesting services, while only a 15 percent difference for selling goods online.

If I had to guess, I’d say the absence of Uber/Lyft type services in many rural areas might explain some of that difference.

This entry was posted in economic development, Research, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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