Old Familiar ''Digital Divide'' Still Shapes Media Landscape

Old Familiar "Digital Divide" Still Shapes Media Landscape

A new report series from Knowledge Networks/SRI finds that households with higher incomes or children are much more likely to own a range of media technologies, from PCs to high-speed Internet access to DVD players. By comparison, the "digital divide" between different ethnic and age groups is less severe, though still substantial in some cases.

Families earning over $50,000 per year are still more than twice as likely to have a PC (89% versus 41%) compared to those earning under $30,000. The higher-income homes are also five times more likely to have broadband Internet access (39% versus 8%) and more than twice as likely to have digital cable TV (27% versus 11%).

The presence of children almost doubles the likelihood that a home will have broadband (29% versus 16% of non-child households) and significantly increases its chances of having digital cable TV (22% v. 16%), a DVD player (71% vs. 47%), or a home computer (76% vs. 59%).

In a comparison of white, African American and Hispanic households, white families were more likely to have PCs and high-speed Internet, but ownership of DVD players was uniform, and African Americans were almost twice as likely to subscribe to digital cable as the other two groups.

David C. Tice, Vice President of Client Service at Knowledge Networks/SRI., says "Our findings suggest that the 'digital divide' will have an impact on the mainstreaming of today's emerging media technologies, as well as many that have yet to appear on the scene."