On 26 May 2021, Minister for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dinenage responded to a written question on digital exclusion.
The question, asked by Labour MP for Hemsworth, Jon Trickett, inquired as to what number of people and households are considered digitally excluded in the UK. Trickett also asked for a regional breakdown of figures.
Dinenage’s full response can be read below.
Digital Technology: Disadvantaged
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26 May 2021
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) people and (b) households that are considered digitally excluded (i) in the UK and (ii) in each region of the UK in the latest period for which figures are available.
Caroline Dinenage: According to the latest Lloyds Bank 2021 Consumer Index, over 9 million people in the UK are lacking in foundation digital skills and 5% (2.6 million) of the population have not been online in the last 3 months. There has been a substantial decrease amongst the amount of households that do not have internet access. Between 2020 and 2021, the percentage of households without internet access has decreased from 7% to 4% in the UK.
The Lloyds Bank Consumer Index estimates that 13% of people in Wales, 8% of people in the North East and 8% of people in the South West have not been online in the past 3 months. These are the areas with the highest proportion of people offline. The East Midlands is estimated to have 6% of people offline, the North West, South East, and Yorkshire and the Humber have an estimated 4% offline. Both the West Midlands and London have 3% of their population offline.