The Digital Divide

Nearly one-third of U.S. households (32 percent) lack broadband service.1

Despite the growing importance of the Internet in American life,
28 percent of Americans do not use the Internet at all.2

The Facts

Low-income and minority Americans disproportionately find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Characteristic of Householders: Percentage of Households with no Internet Access at home.

The top three reasons people often don’t use the internet…

1. They don’t believe it’s relevant.
2. They don’t know how to use the technology.
3. They find it unaffordable.

Using the Internet is becoming a necessity across more and more facets of life. It’s used to complete homework, search for and apply for jobs, connect with family and friends and access government programs.

Jobs

Ninety-six percent of working Americans use new communications technologies as part of their daily life, while sixty-two percent of working Americans use the Internet as an integral part of their jobs.3

94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media to find potential employees.

50% of today’s jobs require technology skills, and this percentage is expected to grow to 77% in the next decade.


Education

According to a study of American middle and secondary school teachers conducted by Pew Research, 67% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents and 57% say it has had such an impact on enabling their interaction with students.

Teachers of the lowest income students are more than twice as likely as teachers of the highest income students (56% v. 21%) to say that students’ lack of access to digital technologies is a “major challenge” to incorporating more digital tools into their teaching.


Health

21% of uninsured Americans do not use the Internet, making it impossible for them to use the online health exchanges.

A Pew Internet Report revealed 59% of caregivers with internet access say that online resources have been helpful to their ability to provide care and support for the person in their care.

  • 1. Digital Nation: Expanding Internet Usage, NTIA Research Preview (Feb. 2011) at 2 .. Link
  • 2. Digital Nation: Expanding Internet Usage, NTIA Research Preview (Feb. 2011) at 5 .. Link
  • 3. Pew Internet and American Life Project, Most Working Americans Now Use The Internet or Email at Their Jobs, Sept. 24, 2008 .. Link
Help us out!

Getting everyone on starts with you!

You can help us eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet and computers and free training available in your community.

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