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King Baudouin Foundation Digital Inclusion Barometer: the digital divide remains an ongoing challenge

22 September 2022

The King Baudouin Foundation has just released its new Digital Inclusion Barometer. This barometer highlights the increased use of digital services since the health crisis. This places people in a digitally vulnerable position in an even more precarious situation.
The new barometer based on 2019 and 2021 data from STATBEL shows that socioeconomically and culturally vulnerable people benefit less from growing digitisation than privileged people. While more people have access to the internet and digital tools since the health crisis, laptop ownership has primarily been the prerogative of financially well-off users, as 77% of high-income households own a laptop (up 15%), compared to 53% of low-income households (up 4%).
More digitally vulnerable people
Almost half of Belgians are digitally vulnerable, with 7% not using the internet and 39% having poor digital skills. Measured skills have not changed much or even declined since 2019. In addition to constantly updating existing skills, new skills must also be acquired. These are the two factors that explain the greater digital vulnerability.
The use of essential digital services is increasing
 The good news, however, is that the use of essential digital services (e-banking, e-administration, e-commerce, e-health) continues to grow and the gap between income and education levels in the area of e-administration has narrowed (by 7% for education level and by 10% for income level).
In conclusion, in a hyper-digitised society, the position of digitally vulnerable people becomes even more precarious. To mitigate these digital divides, it is essential to continue investing in services that are accessible to all, and in the development or improvement of digital skills.
Read the whole study here: Digital Inclusion Barometer 2022 | King Baudouin Foundation (
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