New Education Department Report Examines Racial Differences in Digital Literacy

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education reports on the level of digital literacy in the United States. For the purposes on this analysis, adults were defined as “not digitally literate” if they had no prior computer experience or if they failed to pass a basic computer test that asked participants to perform six simple tasks, such as using a mouse and highlighting text on the screen. Those unable to complete four of the six tasks were deemed not digitally literate.

Overall, 16 percent of U.S. adults ages 16-65 were deemed not digitally literate. but there were significant racial differences in digital literacy. Some 11 percent of White adults, ages 16 to 65 were considered not digitally literate compared to 22 percent of adult Blacks in that age group. Thus, Blacks were twice as likely as Whites to be digitally illiterate.

The full report, A Description of U.S. Adults Who Are Not Digitally Literate, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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