Digital exclusion still a reality for millions of Brazilians

Lack of technical knowledge and availability of service are among the main reasons, according to official numbers.

Millions of Brazilians are still lacking access to the Internet, according to government figures.

Some 45,9 million citizens are digitally excluded and factors include lack of interest, cited by 34,7% of those who remain unconnected. Not having the technical knowledge required to go online was cited by 24.3%.

The high price of Internet services was another reason given by 25.4% of Brazilians who don't use it, according to the report published by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, based on a survey carried out in late 2018.

Lack of service availability - particularly in the North of the country, where the Amazon region is located - was also among the reasons given for not using the web, according to the research.

On the other hand, the number of households with Internet access in Brazil rose from 74.9% in 2017, to 79.1% in 2018 - in urban areas, the percentage increased from 80.2% to 83.8%, and in rural regions, it increased from 41% in 2017 to 49.2% in the following year.

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According to the study, 181.9 million people accessed the Internet by the end of 2018, of whom 74.7% used the web, up from 69.8% in 2017.

However, the connectedness of the regions across Brazil varies: some 69,7% of the population in the North had access to the Internet, followed by 74% in the Northeast, 81.5% in the Midwest, and 81.1% in the Southeast.

Brazilians aged between 18 to 19 years old represented the age bracket with the highest Internet utilization percentage (90.3%), according to the report. This is followed by those aged between 20 to 24 years old (91%), and 25 to 29 years old (90.7%).

However, the greatest growth in Internet utilization was among elderly Brazilians: according to the report, the percentage of Internet use within the age bracket of 60 years old and over jumped from 31.2% in 2017 to 38.7% in 2018.

There is a correlation between education and Internet use in the official figures referring to digital inclusion in 2018: according to the report, 97.4% of people with higher education and 98.3% with incomplete higher education have access to the web. Conversely, the report noted that only 12.1% of people with no education used the Internet in Brazil.