The Connected Nation Blog: Michigan Seniors Feeling the Digital Divide

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Michigan Seniors Feeling the Digital Divide

by Hongqiang Sun and Dev Joshi, Research Analysts for Connected Nation

The Internet is a tool that has proven to be useful for all ages--allowing people across the country to connect and schools, businesses, and communities to flourish in new ways.

Last month, Project GOAL (Get Older Adults Online) hosted a meeting in Washington, DC that highlighted how technology adoption can impact seniors’ lives by improving their access to healthcare, making it easier to stay in touch with friends and family, and empowering them to stay active in their communities. 

Unfortunately, many seniors still do not subscribe to broadband service.

According to the recently released 2011 Michigan residential broadband adoption survey, about 838,000 Michigan adults age 70 or older (or 81%) don’t subscribe to home broadband service. In fact, more than half of Michigan adults in this age group don’t use the Internet at all.  By comparison, only 32% of Michiganders age 18-69 don’t have home broadband service and fewer than one in five say they don’t use the Internet.

The gap in broadband adoption and access is not only being impacted by location and economic standing, but clearly, by age as well.

Over the next several months, Connect Michigan and other CN programs will be highlighting the results of the new research and examining more startling evidence of the impact the digital divide has had on our state. 

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