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The Importance of Bridging the Digital Divide and Creating Digital Opportunity for All Americans
The President's New Markets Trip:
From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity
April 17 - 18, 2000
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(East Palo Alto, California)
For Immediate ReleaseApril 17, 2000
THE IMPORTANCE OF BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND
CREATING DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AMERICANS
April 17, 2000
Access to computers and the Internet and the ability to effectivelyuse this technology are becoming increasingly important for fullparticipation in America's economic, political, and social life.In recent years, access to computers and the Internet has exploded.Unfortunately, there is strong evidence of a "digital divide" -- a gapbetween those individual and communities that have access to theseInformation Age tools and those who don't.
Better-educated Americans are more likely to be connected.
69 percent of households with a bachelor's degree or higher havecomputers, compared to 16 percent of those households that havenot completed high school (Dept. of Commerce, "Falling Through The Net,"July 1999).
45 percent of households with a bachelor's degree or more haveInternet access in the home, compared to 14 percent with no only a highschool diploma or GED (Dept. of Commerce, "Falling Through The Net,"July 1999).
The divide between high and low-income Americans is significant.
80 percent of households with an income of $75,000 or above havecomputers, compared to 16 percent of households earning $10,000 -$15,000 (Dept. of Commerce, "Falling Through The Net," July 1999).
60 percent of households with incomes of $75,000 or above haveInternet access, compared to 12 percent earning $20,000 - $25,000(Dept. of Commerce, "Falling Through The Net," July 1999).
Whites are more likely to be connected than African-Americans andHispanics.
47 percent of white households have computers, compared to 23 percentof African-American and 26 percent of Hispanic households (Dept. ofCommerce, "Falling Through The Net," July 1999).
53 percent of white, two-parent households with children earning morethan $35,000 have Internet access in the home, compared to 31 percent ofAfrican-American and Hispanic households (Dept. of Commerce, "FallingThrough The Net," July 1999).
However, there is virtually no gap in computer ownership between whiteand African- American households earning more than $75,000. (Dept. ofCommerce, "Falling Through The Net," July 1999).
Wealthier schools are more likely to be connected to the Internet thanpoorer schools
In wealthy schools (less than 11 percent of students eligible for freeor reduced-price school lunch), 74 percent of classrooms are connectedto the Internet, compared to 39 percent for the poorest schools (71percent or more of students eligible for free or reduced-priceschool lunch) (Fall 1999 data, Dept of Education, National Center forEducation Statistics, "Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools andClassrooms," February 2000).
People with disabilities are less likely to have access to technology.
11 percent of people aged 15 and above with a disability have accessto the Internet at home, compared to 31 percent of people withoutdisabilities (Current Population Survey, 1998 Computer and InternetUse Supplement, as cited in H. Stephen Kaye, Computer and Internet UseAmong People with Disabilities, Disability Statistics Center, March2000).