Internet gap between black, white seniors: study

Internet gap between black, white seniors: study

WASHINGTON - African Americans over the age of 65 are much less likely to spend time online than their white counterparts, according to a study released on Monday.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project survey found that just 45 per cent of black seniors are internet users, compared to 63 per cent amongst whites.

The study of "African Americans and Technology Use" also found only 30 per cent of black seniors had broadband Internet access, compared to 51 per cent of whites.

Overall, US blacks continue to lag behind whites in terms of Internet use and access to high-speed broadband at home.

Some 87 per cent of whites go on the Internet, compared to 80 per cent of African Americans, while 74 per cent of whites had broadband at home compared to 62 per cent for blacks.

The study, which analysed findings from 6,010 American adults including 664 who identify as African American, found a greater parity amongst younger web users however.

Young, college-educated, and higher income blacks were just as likely to use the Internet and have broadband at home.

The survey found African Americans were flocking to micro-blogging site Twitter in greater numbers. Some 22 per cent of blacks online use Twitter, compared to 16 per cent of whites.

Twitter had also cast a spell on younger African American web users. Forty per cent of blacks between 18 and 29 use Twitter, compared to only 28 per cent of whites in the same bracket.

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