A new study published by the Pew Research Center finds that the much publicized “digital divide” between Blacks and Whites is mostly due to economic factors rather than race. For Blacks and Whites of the same income level, the digital divide disappears.
The study found that 87 percent of White adults use the internet compared to 80 percent of Black adults. Nearly three quarters of all White adults have broadband internet access at home compared to 62 percent of Black adults.
But the study also found that young, college-educated, and higher-income African Americans are just as likely as their white counterparts to use the internet and to have broadband service at home. The results showed that at all income levels, Black and White internet usage was nearly identical.
Also, Blacks and Whites are equally likely to own a cell phone of some kind, and also have identical rates of smartphone ownership. Black adults in low-income households are significantly more likely to have smartphones than White adults in their income group.
White adults were more likely to own a tablet computer than Black adults. But when comparing Black and White adults at similar income levels, there was not a significant racial difference in tablet ownership.