Help bridge the digital divide by completing a survey

In January, the City of Minneapolis will once again survey city residents to get their perspectives about how they use computers, mobile devices and the Internet to better their daily lives. About 12,400 households will receive the survey in the mail from National Research Center, Inc., an independent research firm that will conduct the survey. Households contacted to complete the survey will be selected randomly throughout the entire city, with the goal of reaching a diverse cross-section of Minneapolis residents.

The City is surveying residents again in 2014 to see how the state of the digital divide in Minneapolis has changed each year since 2012 when the City did the first survey. The digital divide is the gap between individuals and groups in their access to information and communication technologies, and their use and knowledge of these technologies. This year the survey will also include questions about Minneapolis City government television programming.

Results from the 2013 survey showed that overall 84 percent of City households have computers with Internet access, yet differences in access at home and comfort level varied, sometimes considerably, across the city’s 11 communities and different sociodemographic characteristics. The survey also showed that while ownership of Internet-enabled computers varied greatly across the City, ownership of Internet-enabled mobile phones was higher in 2013 than 2012 – even among those households least likely to own a computer.

Surveys will be mailed out beginning Monday, Jan. 7. If you receive a survey in the mail, please take a few minutes to complete the survey and mail it back in the envelope provided. The City of Minneapolis will use the results to better understand technology use in the city and to help guide the City’s efforts in closing the digital divide.

Residents who wish to complete their survey in Spanish, Somali or Hmong will see an instruction in their language on the postcard and cover letter letting them know how to request a survey in their language. People can request the survey in additional languages by calling 311 or 612-673-3000.

More information about the City’s efforts to close the digital divide, along with the reports from the 2012 and 2013 surveys are on the City’s website. Folks are also able to use an interactive map to compare neighborhood data to city-wide data.

Published Dec 30, 2013