For the first time, 34 percent of adults own one of a growing number of tablet computers including the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Nexus and Kindle Fire -- nearly double the 18 percent who owned one last year.
When Pew began tracking tablet ownership in May 2010, only three percent of adults said they had a tablet computer.
The report showed no differences in tablet adoption between men and women, or specific racial or ethnic groups, but showed strong differences between age, education and economic groups.
In households with incomes over $75,000, 56 percent of respondents owned a tablet, and 49 percent of college graduates reported owning one, compared to 17 percent of those who did not graduate high school.
Americans ages 35 to 44 had higher reported ownership at 49 percent than those younger and older. Researchers were surprised to find that the 45- to 54-year-old generation has higher tablet ownership than the 18- to 24-year-old college age set.
"With smartphones, for instance, we’ve seen a very strong correlation with age where most younger adults own smartphones, regardless of income level. But when it comes to tablets, adults in their thirties and forties are now significantly more likely than any other age group to own this device," said Research Analyst Kathryn Zickuhr.
Parents with children living at home also showed a significant jump in tablet adoption, with 50 percent reporting tablet ownership, up from 26 percent one year ago.