Poverty worsens age-based digital disparity

A study published at the Benton Foundation finds that financially disadvantaged elders are the least likely to use the Internet. The study, which expands on previous research on the age-based digital disparity, finds a strong relationship between Internet use and socioeconomic status.

Although the overall percent of older Americans using the Internet is increasing, there’s a growing divide within the demographic. According to the report:

The digital divide between the least and most advantaged elders is even more pronounced when education and income are combined. Less than 22% of Americans age 65+ with family incomes below $20,000 and no better than a high school education are Internet users. In comparison, 89% of their age peers with incomes of $50,000 or more and some college education or better are Internet users.

 

Disadvantaged elders: Least likely to be online (Benton Foundation, May 12, 2015)