THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
BY THE NUMBERS
The digital divide describes the resource gap in broadband and device access, and consequently digital literacy, between households. The digital divide compounds existing inequities.
According to Pew Research Center, of households that earn less than $30,000 a year:
3 in 10 adults do not own smartphones
44% do not have broadband internet service in their homes
26% are ‘smartphone-dependent’ as they do not have broadband or larger devices, compared to just 5% of households that earn $100,000+.
Digital divide spurs the ‘homework gap’ that sees students who lack digital resources at home disadvantage in learning.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics:
35% of the homes of low income households with school age children lack internet connection, 26% of these households are below the poverty level. The primary reason households did not have internet access was due to the expense.
Students of color are disppropiantely impacted by the homework gap. 27% of Native American/Alaska Native students, 19% of Black students, and 17% of Hispanic students lack internet access at home or rely on dial up:
18% of rural students lacked internet access at home or relied on dial up.
Pittsburgh’s growing status as an innovation center has not closed the digital divide locally. In the city of Pittsburgh, 13% of households do not have computers. Nearly one in five households in Allegheny County lack at-home internet. This varies dramatically between neighborhoods, as in some neighborhoods up to 70% of the households are without broadband, according to nonprofit Meta Mesh.