2020 Canadian Internet Use Survey shows the Digital Divide Endures

Statistics Canada recently released early findings from the 2020 Internet Use Survey. The data show that while the majority of Canadians have adequate Internet access, there remains a proportion of the population that do not have access, indicating that the digital divide endures.

Takeaway 1: The majority of Canadians living in provinces have Internet access from home.

In 2020, over 90% of Canadians in every province* had Internet access at home.

Takeaway 2: Internet access and download speed depends on where you live.

The majority (95%) of Canadians living in Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) — a group of municipalities with a total population of at least 100,000 and with at least 50,000 people living in the core — have access from the Internet at home. Only 88% of Canadians living outside of a CMA — in a rural area — have Internet access from home.

Takeaway 3: Most Canadians, in cities and rural areas, have mobile data plans — but not necessarily Internet access at home.

While the majority of Canadians (80%) have a mobile data plan, a small amount (1.5%) of those respondents do not also have Internet access at home. In terms of city vs. rural dwellers, 81% of those living in CMAs had mobile data plans, compared to 73% of those living outside of cities.

Source: Statistics Canada Digital Economy and Society Statistics
*The 2020 Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS) measures access to the Internet and the online behaviours of individual residents of Canada 15 years of age and over, living in the provinces. The CIUS is sponsored by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, was conducted from November 2020 to March 2021.

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