Digital divide: one in ten Brits haven't used web

Office of National Statistics reveals 5.3 million Brits have never been online

Web use

One in ten Brits have never used the internet, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

The 10.2 per cent of people who had not yet been online is an improvement on the 11.4 per cent recorded last year. 

Most of those on the offline side of the digital divide are older people. Indeed, 99.2 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 used the internet recently, compared to only 38.7 per cent of those over the age of 75. The vast majority of people 44 and under are using the web, the ONS noted. 

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Those people 75 and older were the most likely to be "lapsed" users, those who have been online in the past, but not within the last three months. "This suggests that, although more adults aged 75 years and over start using the internet, they are not necessarily continuing to use the internet," the ONS noted. 

Another group left behind by the digital revolution is disabled people, with a quarter saying they still have not used the internet. Disabled people also make up half of lapsed internet users, those who have used it but not for more than three months. 

"While we have seen a notable increase in internet usage across all groups in recent years, many older and disabled people are still not online, with two-thirds of women over 75 having never used the internet," said Pete Lee, assistant deputy director of the expenditure, households and economic indicators division of the ONS.

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