Survey finds more Minneapolis households have computers, Internet access

More than 3,200 people participated and the results are in on a survey the City of Minneapolis conducted in January to understand how Minneapolis residents use computers, mobile devices and the Internet to better their daily lives. The survey results show that 84 percent of Minneapolis residents surveyed have computers with Internet access at home (an increase from 82 percent in 2012), but technology access and knowledge gaps still exist with certain demographics of the city. The survey is intended to determine the state of the “digital divide” in Minneapolis, which is the gap between individuals and groups in their access to information and communication technologies, and their use and knowledge of these technologies.

The City of Minneapolis is taking a leadership role to help community members, the private sector, and groups interested in digital inclusion come together to address the digital divide in Minneapolis. The City will use this survey data to help bring people and organizations together to develop ways to more effectively close the gaps.

Survey summary

Overall, Minneapolis residents feel good about technology in the city: they see computers and the Internet as important parts of their lives; and they have a computer and Internet access at home.

Seventy-seven percent of residents reported they feel excellent (13 percent), good (41 percent) or fair (23 percent) about access to technology in Minneapolis and 88 percent of respondents said a computer and Internet access at home is essential or very important.

Eighty-four percent of Minneapolis residents have computers with Internet access at home. What’s more, some areas of the City where computer ownership and access to the Internet were lower than other parts of the City saw some improvement compared to 2012 survey results.  Sixty-three percent of Phillips residents and 70 percent of Near North residents reported having Internet access at home in 2013 compared to 57 percent and 65 percent, respectively. Age, income and race are key factors in resident’s access and use of technology.  Residents age 65 and older and those with household income less than $25,000 are least likely to use computers and the Internet.  Sixty-five percent of African American respondents have a computer with Internet at home, compared to 90 percent of white respondents. 

More mobile access is the biggest change between 2012 and 2013

While ownership of Internet-enabled computers varied greatly across the City, ownership of internet-enabled mobile phones is higher in 2013 – even among those households least likely to own a computer.

The entire report is on the City’s website. Folks will also be able to use an interactive map to compare neighborhood data to city-wide data.

Help the community bridge the digital divide

City leaders and staff will be hosting a number of community meetings with residents, businesses, community groups, and many other stakeholders to share the survey results and get feedback about how to overcome the digital divide in Minneapolis.  The meetings will be held at the following dates and times:

In addition, a webinar will be held for folks to attend the meeting and engage online.  Sign up for email about the City’s digital inclusion initiatives, resources and events, and to receive an invitation to the webinar.

Published May. 10, 2013