Survey discovers Israel’s digital divide


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The higher one’s income the more likely he will be connected to the Internet, a new survey of Israelis’ Internet use has found.

Some four out of 10 respondents, or 40.7 percent, who defined their income levels as “well below average” are not connected to the Internet, but fewer than one in 10 respondents, or 8.7 percent, who defined their income levels as “well above average” are not connected to the Internet.  

In addition, as the level of religious observance increases, the number of people not connected to Internet also increased: just 7.7 percent of the secular public is not connected at all to the Internet, compared with 58 percent of the haredi Orthodox. 

The survey also found that more than half of Internet users in Israel participate in a social networking service at least once a week. Some 73 percent of users aged 15-17 use a social network every day and one of every 10 users aged 65 and older use a social network each day. In addition, 100 percent of new immigrant youth aged 15 to 17 are active in social networks, which allows them to stay in touch with friends in their country of birth.  

One in four Israeli teenagers aged 15 to 17 writes a blog. In addition, 28.3 percent of the Arab public who reported that they write a blog do so each day, compared to 12 percent of older Jews who write a new blog post each day. Some 37 percent of readers of blogs from the Arab public read blogs every day, compared with 24 percent of readers of blogs from the Jewish population who read blogs every day.

The study also found that one-third of Israeli Hebrew speakers only visit Hebrew-language sites.

The study “Israel in the Digital Age 2012” was conducted by the Mahshov Institute and funded by Google Israel. The survey spoke with 1,200 respondents and examined unique segments of the population, including children (aged 12-14), teens (aged 15-17), the haredi Orthodox, Arabs and new immigrants.  The survey was led by Dr. Yuval Dror, Head of the Digital Marketing Track at the School of Media Studies, of the College of Management Academic Studies.     

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