View Header

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release April 17, 2000
           THE IMPORTANCE OF BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND
             CREATING DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AMERICANS
                             April 17, 2000

-     Access to computers and the Internet and the ability to

effectively use this technology are becoming increasingly important for full participation in America's economic, political, and social life. In recent years, access to computers and the Internet has exploded. Unfortunately, there is strong evidence of a "digital divide" -- a gap between those individual and communities that have access to these Information Age tools and those who don't.

Better-educated Americans are more likely to be connected. - 69 percent of households with a bachelor's degree or higher have computers, compared to 16 percent of those households that have not completed high school (Dept. of Commerce, "Falling Through The Net," July 1999).

The divide between high and low-income Americans is significant. - 80 percent of households with an income of $75,000 or above have computers, compared to 16 percent of households earning $10,000 - $15,000 (Dept. of Commerce, "Falling Through The Net," July 1999).

Whites are more likely to be connected than African-Americans and Hispanics.
- 47 percent of white households have computers, compared to 23 percent of African-American and 26 percent of Hispanic households (Dept. of Commerce, "Falling Through The Net," July 1999).

Wealthier schools are more likely to be connected to the Internet than poorer schools
- In wealthy schools (less than 11 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch), 74 percent of classrooms are connected to the Internet, compared to 39 percent for the poorest schools (71 percent or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch) (Fall 1999 data, Dept of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms," February 2000).

People with disabilities are less likely to have access to technology.

###