FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — More than half of all Americans believe that paper is forever, according to a poll of 1,142 registered voters conducted last month by Majority Opinion Research.

The poll, commissioned by research firm Poll Position, found that 56 per cent of Americans don’t think the U.S. will ever be a fully paperless society.

Only 20 per cent of those polled indicated that they believe the nation will become all-electronic while 24 per cent were undecided or had no opinion.

The poll results were also broken down by age, race, gender and political affiliation.

Far more men (25.4 per cent) than women (15.7 per cent) believe the U.S. will someday be a paperless society, according to the poll.

Not surprisingly, far fewer Americans over age 65 (12.3 per cent) than those under 65 (about 22 per cent) believe the U.S. will one day be a paperless society.

The survey found that more Republicans (22.7 per cent) than Democrats (17.4 per cent) or Independents (20.5 per cent) see an all-electronic society in the future.

Today, according to research firm Gartner, the transformation of physical documents into electronic files that can then be stored in a repository for future look-up is a fast-growing marketplace.

In 2010, the market for enterprise imaging software reached US$1 billion market worldwide. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12.1 per cent and total about US$1.8 billion by 2015.

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