Understanding digital exclusion

Links to statistics, studies, and other literature, useful to anyone looking to better understand digital inclusion and exclusion.

The scale of digital exclusion

UK Consumer Digital Index 2020

Lloyds Bank, 2020

Over the last five years, the Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index has used the behavioural data of 1 million people and interviewed almost 7,000 consumers, to create the UK’s largest measure of digital capability. This year finds that an estimated 7% of the UK population are still offline and 9 million struggle to get online by themselves.

Online Nation

Ofcom, 2020

Online Nation is an annual report that looks at what people are doing online, how they are served by online content providers and platforms, and their attitudes to and experiences of using the internet.

Digital Inclusion: Bridging Divides

Cumberland Lodge Report, 2020

This report explores the UK’s persistent ‘digital divide’ and how society is increasingly shaped by new forms of inequality, involving digital inclusion and exclusion.
It focuses on innovative ways of promoting high-quality digital education and participation, and addressing persistent digital divides, to support greater inclusion and opportunity for everyone in the UK. The briefing document which forms Part I of the report was published before the known outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK. It has since been updated and offers useful background to the ideas and recommendations that follow in Part II.

Adults’ media use and attitudes report 2020

Ofcom, 2020

The annual adults’ media use and attitudes report provides research that looks at media use, attitudes and understanding, and how these change over time. The report also includes a particular focus on those who tend not to participate digitally.

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2019

Ofcom, 2019

This report examines children’s media literacy. It provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people. The report also includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek – or decide not – to monitor or limit use of different types of media.

Exploring the UK’s digital divide

ONS, 2019

The scale of digital exclusion in the UK; those who aren’t currently using the internet, how digital skills vary for different groups of the population and some of the barriers to digital inclusion.

Internet access – households and individuals, Great Britain: 2019

ONS, 2019

Internet access in Great Britain, including how many people have the internet, how they access it and what they use it for.

Older People: Digital inclusion evidence review

Age UK, 2018

Age UK’s review of the evidence surrounding digital exclusion of older people.

Digital inclusion and older people – how have things changed in a Covid-19 world?

Age UK, 2020

Looking at the impact the pandemic has had on internet use among people aged 52+ in England.

Exploring the barriers to digital inclusion

Digital Motivation: Exploring the reasons people are offline

Good Things Foundation, 2019

What are the specific reasons people have for not engaging with the internet? How do these specific reasons vary by demographic (eg. unemployment, low skills, age), and which reasons are most important for different groups? To what extent are the reasons people give for being offline ‘masking’ other/deeper reasons or issues, including the role of proxy users?

Social connection in the COVID-19 crisis

All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration, 2020

The report finds that many efforts to reach isolated groups during the COVID-19 crisis have successfully moved online. But that can leave some of the most isolated individuals even further excluded – because they do not own or cannot afford devices, wifi or data to get online, or lack the skills or English fluency to manage online communication.

Learning from Lockdown: 12 Steps to Eliminate Digital Exclusion

Carnegie UK Trust, 2020

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 the scale of digital exclusion in the UK has been exposed and exacerbated beyond previous understanding. While new initiatives have been rapidly and successfully delivered, substantially accelerating progress, there is still much more to be done to ensure no one in the UK is left digitally excluded.

‘Learning from Lockdown: 12 Steps to Eliminate Digital Exclusion’ is a response to this challenge, setting out a series of 12 recommendations calling for ambitious action from policy makers, practitioners, academics and industry to tackle this issue. The recommendations build on our work on digital inclusion over the past decade, and particularly draw on learning and reflections from the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown period.

Digital inclusion and health

Digitising Leeds: Risks and opportunities for reducing health inequalities in Leeds

Your Healthwatch Leeds, 2020

A series of reports highlighting people’s experiences in Leeds of the move to digitised health and care services during Covid-19 and pre-Covid-19, with a particular focus on hearing the experiences of people with the greatest health inequalities.

Digital Inclusion for Health and Social Care

NHS, 2019

A guide to help healthcare providers, commissioners, and designers ensure that services delivered digitally are as inclusive as possible, meeting the needs of all sections of the population.

Digital exclusion in population screening programmes

Citizens Online, 2020

An Equality Impact Assessment of Channel Shift from printed media to online information within NHS England’s population screening programmes.

NHS Digital Pathfinder: Mobile health for adults who have sight and/or hearing loss

mhabitat, 2019

Widening Digital Participation aims to reduce digital exclusion in the UK, and ensure people have the skills they need to access relevant health information and health services online. This project aimed to support improvements in accessing health
and wellbeing services with citizens in the Kirklees area who have hearing and/or sight loss.

Digital Health Hubs

Good Things Foundation, 2020

How to guides, evaluation etc

Co-design in Health and Digital

Good Things Foundation, 2019

Co-design principles, model, and guide. Including guide to co-designing digital inclusion in health.

The Dr Will Zoom You Now: getting the most out of the virtual health and care experience

Traverse, 29 May 2020

A rapid research study that involved interviews with 12 people who had their care interrupted as a consequence of changing patterns of care due to the coronavirus pandemic. The aim was to understand the knock-on effects of COVID-19 on people with a wide range of conditions who had chosen not to seek care, as well as people whose appointments had been cancelled or postponed.

Maternity services and digital technology: Can digital help expectant and new parents access the health information and support they need?

Good Things Foundation, 2018

NHS Widening Digital Participation Pathfinder exploring how digital technology can help expectant and new parents access maternity services and trusted sources of information about their health and wellbeing during and after pregnancy.

Digital health inclusion for people who have experienced homelessness – is this a realistic aspiration?

Pathway, 2017

This report summarises the findings of a small study examining the potential for people
experiencing homelessness to engage with digital health applications.

Improving digital health access for excluded groups

British Journal of Healthcare Management, 2017

Outline and findings of a study carried out by the charity Pathway, which aims to improve healthcare for people who are homeless or socially excluded.