For those working in community computing, it provides valuable information needed to make the case that the technology gap exists. It also recognizes the role community access centers need to play in addressing the information and technology gap.
The principal source for the statistics is the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS). Responses were crosstabulated in the areas of income, race, age, education and region, and by three geographic categories¾rural, urban and center city. The questions included looking at the percent of U.S. households with a telephone, with a computer, with a computer and a modem, and using online services.
The survey numbers support what many already know: that information havenots are disproportionately found in our country's rural areas and central cities. Income is a clear indicator as to whether a household has a computer. 7.6% of central city residents and 4.5% of rural residents with a household income of less than $10,000 have computers. Almost twothirds of all households earning $75,000 annually have computers. Other findings include: ·
The findings here will help identify those who should be targeted in policies designed to narrow the information gap. The report also identifies the "pivotal role to be assumed in the new electronic age by the traditional providers of information access for the general public the public schools, and libraries... and other community access centers..."
For more information and a detailed look at the statistics, contact the U.S. Department of Commerce at (800) 8548407 and request a copy of the report, or check out the web page at http://www.doc.ntia.