One-fifth of Americans have never used e-mail: study

May 19th, 2008 - 6:12 pm ICT by admin  

New York, May 19 (IANS) A study in the US has shown that about 20 percent of all American heads-of-households have never sent an e-mail and about 20 million households, or 18 percent, are without Internet access. Conducted by researchers Parks Associates last week, the study reveals that similar percentages of respondents also indicated that they had never looked up a website or information on the Internet, technology website reported.

“Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document,” John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement.

“These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the homes in the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, use a computer.”

Age and education were significant factors cited in the study. Half of those who have never used e-mail are older than 65 and 56 percent had no formal education beyond high school level, the telephone survey found.

Just seven percent of the 20 million households without Internet access indicated during the survey said they plan to subscribe to an Internet service within the next 12 months.

However, the study noted a steady decline in the number of disconnected households when comparing findings with previous years - the 2006 survey found that 31 million households, or 29 percent of all US households, were without Internet access.

“Internet connections have slowly increased in US households, but getting the disconnected minority online will continue to be difficult,” Barrett said.

“Age and economics are important factors, but the heart of the challenge is deeper. Many people just don’t see a reason to use computers and do not associate technology with the needs and demands of their daily lives.”

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