More than 7m Brits are yet to use the Internet, government says

Some 15 per cent of UK adults have never used the Web, with the most vulnerable in society least likely to have experienced its wonder.

You might hate me for saying this (if you're over, say, 25), but I genuinely can't remember a world without the Internet. But it seems 15 per cent of UK adults have managed to avoid it completely -- more than 7.4 million Brits have never used the Web, according to an official report from the Office for National Statistics.

While those figures may sound surprising, the majority of the population who have yet to experience the wonders of the Internet are aged 75 or over. Internet use is highest among those between the ages of 16 and 24, of course, with very nearly 100 per cent of the population having used the Web. There were still 53,000 among the younger generation who had not, however, with poverty the main cause.

300,000 people who have not accessed the Internet put this down to earning less than £200 a week -- in stark contrast to the 100 per cent earning over £2,000 who are plugged in.

More and more people are accessing the Internet all the time though, with 1.2 million users having connected to cyberspace since last year. 

The report showed men were also more likely to use the Web, with 12 per cent of men having never been online as opposed to 16.9 per cent of women.

The older generation was not the only demographic with a particularly high proportion of people having never used the Internet: 32.8 per cent of people with disabilities live offline.

The report revealed that, unsurprisingly, single people were most likely to live their lives online with just 5.2 per cent having never accessed the information superhighway (you may have noticed I'm running out of synonyms here).

The problem with the social divide of Internet users could soon become much worse, with many government services being moved to its online portal. The first major service to get a 21st century overhaul will be the Department of Work & Pensions' Universal Credit project, which will combine six benefits into one, that can then be managed and claimed online.

How long could you live without the Web? Do you think the government should do more to get people online? Should tech manufacturers make their products easier to use for people with disabilities? Let me know in the comments or head on over to our Facebook page.

 

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