Digital Divide

The digital divide – the gap in access to and use of technology and the internet – is both a cause and effect of poverty. The rich and educated are more likely to have access to digital resources, and those with limited online access options tend to be lower-income and non-white. A lack of access to technology can perpetuate poverty by restricting opportunities for social mobility. Internet access and an internet-connected device are essentially required to submit a job application, complete schoolwork or apply for social services from the government. The divide extends beyond access to digital literacy: for instance, teachers in high-poverty schools are consistently less likely than their counterparts to have received technology-integration training. This section of the Spotlight website gathers the latest research, news and opinion on the digital divide and poverty.