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Why Access to Technology is Important

There is a huge disparity between socio-economic status and computer use among San Diego’s population:

  1. Economic barriers to technology in today’s society hinder the growth and development of low-income families and continuously widen the socioeconomic gap.
  2. Official San Diego County estimates suggest that 41.8% of public school students are from low-income families and 28% of San Diego families do not have a computer in their home.
  3. Of projected San Diego jobs with the highest anticipated growth (Business Services, Communications, Defense and Transportation Manufacturing, Medical Services and Software and Computer Services) all but 4 of 25 occupations analyzed will require computer skills.
  4. Based on the estimate of 13,974 City of San Diego residents that would not be able to enter into occupations that require computer skills, lost wage potential can amount to $366,635,838 annually based on the 2004 annual average entry-level wage of $26,237 for technology sector jobs.
  5. Over two-thirds of residents over the age of 25 in four communities within San Diego: Otay Mesa, Barrio Logan, San Ysidro, and Southeastern San Diego, only has a high school education or less. These communities also coincide with lowest levels of computer literacy.Kids with computers sparks imagination
  6. 6.5% of respondents within the city of San Diego are either uncomfortable or have no experience with computers in general and 7.9% of San Diego respondents are either uncomfortable or have no experience with the Internet in general.
  7. Of San Diegans who did not own a home computer, 29.6% indicated that they did not have access to a computer at all.
  8. Nearly 60% of low-income households do not have a working computer in the home.
  9. Roughly 1 in 3 Americans - nearly 100 million - still haven't adopted broadband at home.

Because children of low-income families rely primarily on their school computers and have no technological access at home, they are at a significant disadvantage compared to children with home computers and this limits the overall success of the family to compete in today’s technology driven market.

The connection between socio-economic status and computer use among San Diego’s population illustrates how lower income families struggle to stay competitive without technology. Economic barriers hinder the growth and development of low-income families and only widen the socio-economic gap.