Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Who can't read this?

People without access to the web of course - who are also, as it happens, missing out on cheap rail fares.

But who is that? Who isn't online in this shiny, nearly brand new 21st Century?

Official statistics seem to show that the group of people who don't have web access include:
  • the elderly
  • the less educated
  • women (no, really)
  • possibly the more remote
In particular, the over 65s have less web access than anyone. Around 70% of this group have never accessed the web. That drops rapidly when you get to 55-65 year olds, but at present the retired element of the population - the group which is increasing, has more leisure time and an increasingly disposable income - is the worst off in terms of accessing that "so called information superhighway" (quote TM BBC news circa 1995...).
And not all the internet "have nots" are unwillingly so. When asked why they didn't have the internet almost 60% said they didn't need it or want. Twenty-seven percent cited the cost of equipment or internet access as too high while 15% thought they didn't have the requisite skills.

From Who doesn't have the internet?, from the BBC Magazine
The less educated is interesting. It seems that 93% of university graduates have home internet access, but that figure drops to 56% of those with no qualifications. I suppose this could be related to income and not having access at home doesn't have to cause an issue for people nowadays (libraries, schools etc...), but it is an interesting disparity. Interestingly we know from our own research at work that about 95% of Year 9 children have some form of internet access at home.

Ah, women. Really. 29% have never used the interwebz, compared to 20% of men. Honest. It says so.

The remote group is also interesting - probably it's because of a lack of infrastructure (the wires and whathaveyou) which slows or limits access to people who live in really, really remote areas (even more remote than Eastbridge, put it that way).

The numbers come from Who doesn't have the internet from the BBC.

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