National Institute on Aging

The Current Racial Digital Divide May Have Long-Lasting Repercussions

A new report from Deutsche Bank Securities presents startling data on the racial digital gap and how it will impact the ability of African Americans to find good-paying jobs in the future. The finding show that due to the structural and infrastructural inequities, Blacks and Hispanics are 10 years behind Whites in levels of broadband access and almost four times more Blacks have poor internet connectivity than Whites. The data shows that 60 percent of Black Americans own a personal computer compared to 83 percent of White Americans.

The findings led the authors of the report to conclude that “76 percent of Blacks and 62 percent of Hispanics could get shut out or be under-prepared for 86 percent of jobs in the United States by 2045. If this digital racial gap is not addressed, in one generation alone, digitization could render the country’s minorities into an unemployment abyss.”

The report urges high tech companies to start now in efforts to bridge the racial digital gap. The authors state that “with a cost of $15 billion over the next five years, Big Tech could start to make an impact on the racial digital divide. That is less than 1 percent of the $2 trillion increase in Big Tech’s market cap during COVID. We believe such an initiative could create a decisive precedence, dramatically increase goodwill, and position Big Tech as part of the solution instead of being increasingly seen as part of the problem. In essence, this could reduce or mitigate the potential costs of ongoing and upcoming scrutiny of these companies.”

The full report, “America’s Racial Gap and Big Tech’s Closing Window,” may be downloaded here.

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