Digitally Left Behind Community

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What is the Digital Divide?

The use of Information Technology (IT) has increased rapidly due to the proliferation of end-user devices available to individuals and the ubiquitous connectivity of these devices. Businesses and the Government are exploiting these channels they offer benefits because of their efficiencies and reach. The majority of individuals in the UK are connected and on-line, with varying degrees of skills and confidence. But a significant number of individuals are not connected and this has resulted in what it known as The Digital Divide.

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Three Key Questions

We have asked three questions concerning the Digital Divide with particular focus on The Digital Left Behind Community (DLBC).

  1. What is the current size of the DLBC in the UK?
  2. How is the current size of the DLBC changing?
  3. What are the main underlying causes of its existence?


Drawing on the answers to those three questions:

  1. What are the priority social and economic issues?
  2. How and by whom might these be mitigated?


1. What is the size of the Digitally Left Behind Community?

There are two sides to the Digital Divide: Elite users regularly manage money digitally online and use multiple digital devices. They regularly use e-mails, stream video and shop online. The DLBC in comparison use very basic digital communication. They have little or no evidence of digital behaviours. If we consider the UK population, 16.9 million (one third) of adults in the UK with a bank account have the lowest level of digital engagement[1].

These figures exclude the 1.3M adults without a bank account. We calculate that the DLBC Total is 18.2M or 35% of an adult population size of 52.4M.

2. How is the current size of the DLBC changing?

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3. What are the main underlying causes of its existence?

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Spreadsheet of data

The following spreadsheet was compiled by Chris Winter and the DLBC team. It contains a list of useful published information: File:Information gathered.xlsx