Exploring UK’s digital divide

The UK Office for National Statistics published a report exploring the digital divide in the UK, examining the scale of digital exclusion and the impediments to digital inclusion. According to the report, Internet non-users in the UK are mostly adults over 65, disabled adults, and employees on long term sickness or disability leave. As for the main barriers to inclusion in households, 64% stated they did not need Internet, 20% did not have the skills to use it, and 2% had physical or senior disabilities. However, the percentage of Internet non-users has dropped since 2012 which narrowed the gap in regional Internet usage. While London remains the region with the lowest portion of Internet non-users (7%), Northern Ireland has the highest proportion (14.2%), followed by North-east England (12.1%). Additionally, the study notes that the Internet is increasingly used to interact with public authorities and services; particularly in obtaining information from websites, submitting and downloading official forms.