Within the UK, an estimated 17 million 'digitally excluded' people don't, won't or can't use computers and the internet. Significantly, those already at a social or financial disadvantage are at least three times more likely to be off-line, and missing out on the benefits digital technologies can provide. Offline households are, on average, £560 a year worse off than online homes.
'The UK has 40 million internet users, with 30 million people using the web every day, and it has some of the world’s cheapest broadband prices. Seven million of us have sold an item on eBay. Half of all leisure travel is now booked online and seven million job adverts were placed online last year.
However, there are 10 million adults in the UK who have never used the internet: more than a fifth of the population. Four million of those are among the most disadvantaged: 39% are over 65, 38% are unemployed and 19% are families with children.' (Manifesto for a Networked Nation, July 2010)
Figures (Sept 1 2010) from the Office of National Statistics, show:
• 30.1 million adults used the Internet every day or nearly every day, almost double the estimate in 2006
• There were 7 million households without Internet access in 2010, with age, income and qualifications having a major influence on internet access.
• 39% of those with a limiting disability or illness had never used the Internet compared to 14% without a disability.
• 70% of people who live in social housing aren't online - 28% of all those not online
• 75% of everyone not online is also not working
• Internet users' confidence in their ability to find work outstrips non-users by 25%.
For the older generation the problem increases because of a lack of exposure to the technology, and the cost of implementing it.
- About 5.7 million people over 65 have never used the internet, 46% of non-internet users are 65+. Women are less likely than men to be users (26% compared to 39%)
- 61% of people 65+ say they do not have or intend to take up an internet connection at home. (vs. 19% for all adults). Single people are less likely to be online than other households.
- People 65+ are more likely to be new users and 'narrow' users of the internet, with less than 3 years experience.