Urban/Rural Digital Divide Exists in Older Adults: Does It Vary by Racial/Ethnic Groups?

TitleUrban/Rural Digital Divide Exists in Older Adults: Does It Vary by Racial/Ethnic Groups?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsChoi, EYoung, Kanthawala, S, Kim, YSun, Lee, HYun
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
ISSN Number1552-4523
KeywordsInformation technology, race, rural and urban issues, Social determinants of health

Despite the overall increase in older adults' internet use, the digital divide within older Americans remains substantial, particularly for those in rural areas and with racial/ethnic minority backgrounds. The current study examines how one's residential area and racial/ethnicity relate to internet access, both singularly and in concert. Data were from the 2016 Health and Retirement Study. The sample consisted of 17,372 Americans aged 50 and above. Logistic regression analyses were performed to test the direct effects of residence and race/ethnicity and their interaction effects on internet use. The odds of internet use were significantly lower for older adults living in suburban and rural residences as well as for Black and Hispanic individuals. Furthermore, rural living reduced the probability of using the internet more for Blacks than Whites. These findings underscore the need for targeted interventions to narrow the digital divide, with particular attention required for older Blacks in rural communities.

Citation Key12273
PubMed ID35196918