WASHINGTON DC: The proportion of American adults owning a tablet has almost doubled over a year, with Apple's iPad the top choice according to two new reports 

The Pew Research Center surveyed 2,252 adults during April and May as part of its Internet & American Life Project and found that 34% of adults owned a tablet, up from 18% a year ago.

The device was favoured by older groups, with almost half of adults (49%) aged 35-44 years possessing one.

In addition, ownership was skewed towards the more affluent and better educated. Some 56% of respondents living in households earning at least $75,000 per year had a tablet, as did 49% of college graduates.

These two groups also saw some of the greatest increases in ownership over the past year, but the fastest growing demographic was parents with children at home, where ownership rose from 26% in April 2012 to 50% in May 2013.

Pew found no statistically significant differences in tablet ownership between men and women, or between members of different racial or ethnic groups.

A separate survey for Frank N. Magid Associates, forming part of its Magrid Media Futures study, found that tablet penetration had increased 47% over a single year and that a majority of online Americans (53%) owned one.

In terms of brands, Apple was the preferred option, with 53% of all tablet owners having a full-sized iPad, a figure which rose to 59% when the iPad mini was included.

Amazon's Kindle Fire had risen to 31% of tablet owners while Samsung tablets accounted for 19%. Magrid noted that 32% of tablet owners had multiple brands of tablet devices in their household.

Spending on apps had also grown in line with the increased penetration, rising 42% year-on-year to reach $2.3bn.

Video viewing was a widespread habit, with 63% of tablet owners doing so regularly, often full-length movies and TV shows.

Magid predicted a 20% growth rate for tablets over the next year.

Data sourced from Pew Research Center, Frank N. Magid Associates; additional content by Warc staff