Digital Divide Persists: Income Levels Still Drastically Affect Internet Access in Canada

The internet is in many ways a champion of freedom and defined by accessibility. But in Canada a great digital divide persists where lower-income households remain without internet.

According to the newly released 2014 CIRA Factbook, only 62 percent of Canadians in the lowest income quartile have Internet access, compared with 95 percent of Canadians in the highest income quartile.

This divide is also regional, the CIRA says, with British Columbia and Alberta enjoying the highest penetration rates, at around 86 percent, and Nunavut the lowest, at 27 percent.

“The good news is, after years of steady decline in international rankings, Canada saw significant gains in both the speed and price competitiveness of Internet service over the past year,” the CIRA says.

Nearly 87 per cent of Canadian households overall are connected to the Internet, compared with 80 per cent in 2010, putting Canada 16th in the world and second among the G8 nations, just behind the UK.