FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, September 17, 2004

"Digital Divide" Narrows for Kids

Good news for kids using the Internet: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has released a study saying that nearly all U.S. kids (96%) have gone online at least once. The report also notes the growing number of low-income children who have been able to log on. It's especially positive when compared with a 2001 U.S. Department of Education study finding that only 60% of students had been online.

However, the report found disparities remaining. Income was the deciding factor in how often kids used the Net: 70% of children from families earning more than $50,000 annually went online regularly, while only 54% of children from households earning less than $35,000 were regular surfers. This is likely because children from lower-income households were dependent on school and library terminals, where access times are limited, for their Internet access, whereas wealthier children benefitted from having computers in the home.