The digital divide in advanced economies

New Pew Research Center data shows a significant difference in the use of social media in advanced economies.

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Consumers in 14 countries* were questioned about their access to the internet and their use of social media sites. 

Leading the way in the regular use of social media as well as internet access is Sweden (71% of respondents), followed closely by the Netherlands and Australia in equal second place (70%) and the US (69%).

In these four countries about 30% of respondents reported that they either have no internet access at all, or they do not access social media.

At the bottom end of the table, only 37% of German respondents said they used the internet and social media sites. Japan (43%) and Greece (46%) also reported low usage.

As far as internet access is concerned, only 5% of people in the Netherlands claimed not to have access to the internet.  In Greece 40% do not have access to the internet.

The wide difference in social media use across developed economies is due to access to the internet as well as smartphone ownership.

Rates of smartphone ownership across the same 14 countries vary wildly. 80% of Swedes own a smartphone compared to only 46% of Greeks.

*The countries included in the survey: Australia; Canada; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Japan; Netherlands; Poland; Spain; Sweden; UK; US.

Source: Pew Research Center.