Latinos-Close-the-Digital-Divide-MainPhoto

Latinos-Close-the-Digital-Divide-MainPhoto
FOX Logo-ReducedFour years ago, surveys suggested that Latinos had fallen behind other groups in the digital divide. Today, Latinos have either narrowed or closed that gap, a recent study found.

Latinos own smart phones, access the Internet through mobile devices and use social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook at similar—and sometimes higher—rates than other groups of Americans, according to data compiled by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Internet usage among Latinos rose from 64 percent in 2009 to 78 percent in 2012. Cellphone usage increased from 76 percent to 86 percent in the same time frame. Around 90 percent of whites and 84 percent of African Americans currently own cellphones, the study said.

“Latinos are just as likely to use this technology,” Mark Lopez, one of the researchers of the study, told Fox News Latino. “There is still a digital divide but it’s less so with recent technology.”

There are a number of reasons for Latinos quick catch-up, experts claim.

Among the various groups of Americans, Latinos tend to be one of the youngest groups, with 65 percent of Hispanics between the ages of 22 and 35. Younger generations seem to adopt technology—especially social media—quicker than older people, Lopez said.

Read Related: The New American Mom: Tech-Savvy & Online

“Hispanics are younger,” he said. “Young people always seem to adopt technology better than older Latinos or older Americans in general.”

The American immigrant experience and tight communities with ties to their home countries is another reason for Hispanics are using cellphones, social media and the Internet in high numbers, said Peter Creticos, the executive director of the Chicago-based technology think tank, the Institute for Work and the Economy.

“The existence of a widespread Latino diaspora supports the idea of staying in touch,” Creticos said. “It makes a lot of intuitive sense.”

Read the full article on FOX NEWS Latino.

 

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