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Aug. 24, 2012 9:30 am

56% of elderly Philadelphians say they never use the Internet, 36% in suburbs [Study]

Older adults in Philadelphia city are less likely to use the Internet than those in the Philly suburbs, according to a study by a local health organization. Out of the 3,000 Philadelphia-region adults over 60 who were surveyed in 2010 by the Public Health Management Corporation’s Community Health Data Base (CHDB), 56 percent of Philadelphians […]

Older adults in Philadelphia city are less likely to use the Internet than those in the Philly suburbs, according to a study by a local health organization.

Out of the 3,000 Philadelphia-region adults over 60 who were surveyed in 2010 by the Public Health Management Corporation’s Community Health Data Base (CHDB), 56 percent of Philadelphians said they never use the Internet, compared to 36 percent of those who live in the city’s surrounding counties, as highlighted in a recent PHMC press release. Taken with the stat that perhaps as many as 55 percent of Philadelphia households don’t have access to the Internet, the study underlines Philly’s digital divide problem.

Overall, out of 10,000 adults surveyed, CHDB  found that one in five adults in southeastern Pennsylvania say they never use the Internet. This does not mean that these adults have never used the Internet, rather, they say they don’t use it at all.

The study’s findings mirror nationwide trends, says research associate Rose Malinowski Weingartner, though she adds that she was surprised to learn that so few people use the Internet, regardless of age.

CHDB, located in Center City, conducts a survey on health habits in the Philly region every two years. In its most recent study, Weingartner says researchers included a question about online access since the Internet has become an important health resource for adults of all ages. For more on CHDB’s findings about digital access, check out its website here.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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