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More poor, uneducated Latinos access internet

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 6, 2010

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While broadband internet access from home increased among whites, blacks and Hispanics, Latinos showed the most significant increase in internet use from 2006 to 2008. Although there are fewer Latinos online than whites in 2008, 10 percent more Latinos were online than two years before. Internet use among Latino adults reached 64 percent during that time. That growth outstripped that of whites (4 percent) and black (2 percent) visitors to the internet during the same time period, according to Latinos Online, 2006-2008: Narrowing the Gap, a recent report.

The researchers who authored the report believe the growth was mainly because of an increase in Latinos online who have in the past been absent from the virtual world such as foreign-born Latinos, poorly educated Latinos, and Latinos with an income below $30,000 a year.

They believe that from 2006 to 2008 the increase in the likelihood of having a home connection among internet users was minimal. At the same time, rates of broadband connection increased significantly for Hispanics, whites and blacks. In 2006, 63 percent of Hispanics with home internet access had a broadband connection; in 2008, 76 percent had broadband access. Whites with a broadband connection went from 65 percent to 82 percent, a 17 percentage point increase, and black access to broadband went from 63 percent in 2006 to 78 percent in 2008.

The authors of Latinos Online are Gretchen Livingston, senior researcher, Pew Hispanic Center; Kim Parker, senior researcher, Pew Social and Demographic Trends Project; and Susannah Fox, associate director, Pew Internet and American Life Project.

They derived their findings from a compilation of eight landline telephone surveys conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Internet and American Life Project from February to October 2006, and from August to December 2008. The Pew Hispanic Center surveyed 7,554 adults, and the Pew Internet and American Life Project interviewed 13,687 adults.

Founded in 2001, the Pew Hispanic Center is a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the nation. The Pew Internet Project conducts original research that explores the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life.

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