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Unveiling the digital divide

Author: George Sciadas; Statistics Canada. Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division.
Publisher: Ottawa : Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division, Statistics Canada, 2002.
Series: Research paper (Statistics Canada. Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division); Connectedness series (Online), no. 7.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The digital divide, commonly understood as the gap between information and communications technology (ICT) 'haves' and 'have-nots', has emerged as an important issue of our times, largely due to the uneven diffusion of the Internet. Many variables, including income, education, age and geographical location, exert significant influences on household penetration of both ICT and non-ICT commodities. Thus, divides can  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Statistics
Statistiques
Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: George Sciadas; Statistics Canada. Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division.
ISBN: 0662322266 9780662322269
OCLC Number: 51156088
Notes: "Catalogue no. 56F0004MIE, no. 7."
Publisher's Web site: http://www.statcan.ca.
Issued also in French under title: Découvrir la fracture numérique.
Archived by the National Library of Canada.
Title from title screen (viewed on Nov. 13, 2002).
Description: 1 online resource.
Details: System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.; Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Series Title: Research paper (Statistics Canada. Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division); Connectedness series (Online), no. 7.
Responsibility: by G. Sciadas.

Abstract:

The digital divide, commonly understood as the gap between information and communications technology (ICT) 'haves' and 'have-nots', has emerged as an important issue of our times, largely due to the uneven diffusion of the Internet. Many variables, including income, education, age and geographical location, exert significant influences on household penetration of both ICT and non-ICT commodities. Thus, divides can be defined for any permutation of the above. In the case of ICTs, divides depend on the specific technology, its timing of introduction, as well as the variable of interest. This study shows that the digital divide is sizeable; ICT penetration rates grow with income. Generally, the effect of income is larger on newer ICTs (Internet, computers, cell phones) than older and established ones (television, telephone). Then, using the Internet penetration of households by detailed income level, it finds that in an overall sense the Internet divide is slowly closing. This, however, is the result of the accelerated adoption of the Internet by middle-income households - particularly upper middle. The Internet divide is widening when the lowest income deciles are compared with the highest income decile. At the same time, the rates of growth of Internet adoption among lower-income households exceed those of higher-income households. This is typical of penetration patterns of ICT and non-ICT commodities. Rates of growth are initially very high among high-income groups, but at later stages it is the penetration of lower-income groups that grows faster.

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