A new study released by the Pew Research Center shows that ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft owe much of their success to their popularity among young adults. The research shows that young people are driving the usage of ride-hailing apps in the U.S. According to the study, the median age of the users of ride-hailing apps in the U.S. is 33. There is a marked difference in how popular Uber and Lyft are with young people, with 18- to 29-year-olds being seven times more likely to use these services than those aged 65 or above.
According to Pew’s findings, 15 percent of American adults have used a ride-hailing app. A fifth of those say they use these apps daily or weekly. Of the Americans that use ride-hailing, 86 percent report that they feel it saves them time and stress, while 80 percent believe that the services offer good jobs to those who want flexible working hours.
Young people living in urban areas appear to be the heaviest ride-sharing users. Those with relatively high incomes and college degrees are also heavy ride-sharing users. Over 25 percent of those who live in households with a yearly income of at least $75,000 have used ride sharing services, compared with 10 percent of people with a household income of less than $30,000.
For the survey, the Pew Research Center polled 4,787 American adults between Nov. 24 and Dec. 21, 2015 on their familiarity with 11 services in the sharing, on-demand and collaborative economy. Pew found that 72 percent of American adults have used at least one of the 11 services. About 20 percent of Americans have used four or more of these services, and 7 percent report using six or more.
The most popular types of services in the survey were ecommerce related activities, such as buying or selling second hand goods online and delivery services. Ride-hailing apps were the sixth most popular service on the list of eleven. The results of the survey also underlines how quickly digital services have spread and disrupted marketplaces. Some of the best known companies in the industry didn’t exist 10 years ago. In fact, the Uber app launched in 2009.
The survey suggests that companies operating in the sharing economy have created a loyal following among the Americans who do business with them. Pew found attitudes are overwhelmingly positive towards the services. The already established services are expected to continue to grow while new services will be launched to target other markets. No matter what you think about the sharing economy, it appears to be here to stay.