THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
BY THE NUMBERS
The digital divide describes the resource gap in broadband and device access, and consequently digital literacy skills, between households.
Access to broadband, devices, and digital skills education is necessary for students, parents, and the general public to access resources for schooling, social services, and employment. However, not having access to these necessities because of factors like poverty and proximity only furthers the digital divide.
According to Pew Research Center, of households that earn less than $30,000 a year:
- 30% of adults do not own smartphones
- 44% do not have broadband internet service
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a spotlight on how the digital divide affects students who lack digital resources at home.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics:
- 35% of low income households with school age children lack internet connection
- 27% of Native American/Alaska Native students, 19% of Black students, and 17% of Hispanic students lack internet at home or rely on dial up
THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN PITTSBURGH
Pittsburgh’s growing status as an innovation center has not closed the local digital divide.
In the city of Pittsburgh, 10% of households do not have computers. Nearly 1 in 5 households in Allegheny County lack internet access at home. This percentage varies dramatically between neighborhoods, with some having up to 70% of households without broadband (source: Meta Mesh).
In fact, these percentages vary dramatically between neighborhoods. Neighborhood Allies works in 6 focus neighborhoods across Allegheny County: Hilltop, the Hill District, Homewood, Larimer, Millvale, and Wilkinsburg. These same data points are compounded in our focus neighborhoods that are already impacted by poverty and lack of proximity to quality internet service.
Households Without Internet Access in our Focus Neighborhoods
Compared to 13.3% of households in Pittsburgh
Households Without a Computer in our Focus Neighborhoods
Compared to 10.2% of households in Pittsburgh