NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

EPF Study: Digital Divide Will Disappear

January 15, 2001

The gap between high- and low-income households in computer ownership is quickly closing and should disappear by 2009, according to the Employment Policy Foundation.

Based upon past growth rates, EPF forecasts that by the end of the decade home computers will become a standard feature in nearly all American households.

  • Today, 41 percent of low-income households own a computer, compared to 81 percent in the high income group, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
  • Lower income households are adopting home computer technology at nearly double the rate of the higher income bracket as technology becomes more affordable.
  • Between 2003 and 2007, 95 percent of those in the highest income quartile will own home computers, and between 2005 and 2009, the same penetration will occur for those in the lowest income quartile.

Currently, 51 percent or 54.5 million U.S. households own at least one computer and 43.5 million of those also have Internet access.

Source: "Computer Ownership and Internet Access: Opportunities for Workforce Development and Job Flexibility," Technology Forecast, January 11, 2001, Employment Policy Foundation, 1015 15th Street, N.W., Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 789-8685.


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