The Hispanic Institute

Digital Divide Dampens Hispanic Impact in the U.S.

--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--

WASHINGTON, D.C. March 18, 2015 -- Hispanics lack adequate access to broadband Internet -- and it's preventing them from matching the economic, educational, and healthcare outcomes of their peers in other ethnic groups, according to a study released today by The Hispanic Institute.

"Without reliable access to the Internet, Hispanics cannot participate fully in American society," said Gus West, President of The Hispanic Institute. "The best job and educational opportunities have moved online. If Hispanics are to take advantage of them, they'll need to follow them into cyberspace."

Read the Full Document (PDF)

According to the study, digital engagement is correlated with higher levels of education. Ninety-one percent of Hispanic families with some college use the Internet, compared with 58 percent of those with less than a high school diploma. The latter group's low educational attainment already impedes their employment prospects. A lack of Internet access exacerbates those woes.

The digital divide also hamstrings Hispanics' ability to secure health coverage. The Affordable Care Act's subsidized insurance is only available through HealthCare.gov. Meanwhile, many Hispanics believe that they could be deported if they sign up for coverage through the ACA's exchanges. Combine those two factors, and it's no wonder that nearly 30 percent of Hispanics are uninsured.

"A viable Internet connection remains one of the best ways to secure a step forward in this country," said West. "If Hispanics are to catch up to the economic, educational, and healthcare achievements of their peers, policymakers and the telecommunications industry must take steps to expand Internet access in Hispanic communities."

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For more information or to download a copy of "Telecommunications and Hispanics: How Technology can Advance Latino Interests via Education, Health Care and the Economy," please go to www.thehispanicinstitute.org or contact XiNomara Velazquez at (202) 544-8284 or xinomara@thehispanicinstitute.net

About The Hispanic Institute

The Hispanic Institute is a 501 (c)(3) designated nonprofit organization that provides an effective education forum for an informed and empowered Hispanic America. The Hispanic Institute manages a number of projects including, studies of Hispanic economic contributions, media monitoring, consumer fraud and citizenship education. For more information, please visit www.thehispanicinstitute.org.

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