Updated 05:42 AM EDT, Wed, Oct 01, 2014
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Pew: Latinos Narrow Digital Divide Between 2010 and 2013

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Computer Access
A new report from the Pew Research Center notes advances for Latinos in digital access, though they still lag behind in ownership of laptop or desktop computers. (Photo : Vancouver Film School / Flickr)

Latinos are closing the digital divide, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

In fact, according to the 2013 survey on the matter Latinos are two percent more likely to own a cell phone than whites and three percent more likely to use a Smart Phone. They are a whopping 16 percent more likely than whites to be accessing the Internet from a mobile device.

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This comes in stark contrast to an earlier survey done by Pew in 2010, in which Hispanics trailed whites (85 to 76 percent) in merely owning a cell phone at all.

"Among the biggest drivers of these increases are spikes in technology adoption among foreign-born Latinos and Spanish-dominant Latinos, the surveys found," the report notes as to how the gap narrowed so quickly. "Both groups' rates of going online and cellphone ownership increased sharply since 2009, helping to reduce the digital divide between Latinos and whites-and also reducing gaps within the Latino community itself."

The 2010 survey noted a disparity to online availability between Latinos born in the US and those who came her from another country.

"Native-born Latinos are more likely than foreign-born Latinos to be online (81 percent vs. 54 percent); to have a home internet connection (71 percent vs. 45 percent); to have a home broadband connection (60 percent vs. 35 percent); and to own a cell phone (86 percent vs. 70 percent)," the 2010 report reads.

Though much of that disparity has been overcome, Latinos still trail behind whites in home internet access from a laptop or desktop computer.

"Some 72 percent of Latinos say they own a desktop or laptop computer, compared with 83 percent of whites. Among blacks, 70 percent are computer owners," the report reads, adding that, "Nearly eight-in-ten (78 percent) Latino adults go online at least occasionally, compared with 87 percent of whites and 78 percent of blacks."

As with previous studies, the breakdown between who owns a computer or does not often follows the same pattern as to who is born in the US as well as education and income. Spanish-dominant Latinos are less likely to have a computer at home than English-dominant and bilingual Latinos.

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