ONS reveals closing digital divide in UK

According to the latest from the Office for National Statistics, as of Q2 2012, 7.82 million adults, or 16 percent of the UK’s population, had never used the internet before.

However, according to to the ONS, this is a four percent decrease from the previous quarter and 10 percent lower than the same time last year. This means that there are now 42.52 million adults in the UK who had used the internet at some point, by Q2 2012.

Looking at internet use across genders, the figures are almost level-pegging: men are five percent more likely to be internet users than women, at 87 percent of all male adults.

In terms of age, the 16-24 bracket are the heaviest users, with an enormous 98.1 percent having accessed the internet over the last three months. Only 0.7 percent of this age bracket had never used the internet. The 25-24 bracket had 97.2 percent access the internet over the last three months, and just 1.4 percent had never gone online, while the 25-44 age group was still high at 94.5 percent over the last three months, while 3.4 percent has never gone online.

The figures begin significantly tapering off at the 55-64 age bracket, where 78.6 percent had gone online over the last three months, thought 17.1 percent had never used it. In the 65-74 and 75+ age brackets, only 57.1 and 23.8 percent had accessed the internet over the last three months respectively. In the 75+ demographic, 71.2 percent of those polled had never gone online.

There is a small divide in terms of gross weekly pay. The most wealthy of those polled – earning over £1,500 per week – had all used the internet. For people with under £200 of pay per week, the ‘ever used’ figure was at 93.3 percent, but 6.5 percent had never used the internet.

Northern Ireland was the least connected region in the United Kingdom, with 77.5 percent of its population having used the internet. Next was the North East, at 80.3 percent, and Wales, at 80.7 percent. London and the South East were tied for top spots, at 87.6 percent each, followed by the East of England at 85.8 percent.

For disabled people, of those who have self-assessed that they have a disability in line with the Disability Discrimination Act, 33.7 percent were non-users of the internet, down from 36.8 percent the same time last year.