Survey: 20% of Americans have never sent an e-mail

Roughly one-fifth of all US households are disconnected from the Internet

Roughly one-fifth of all US households are disconnected from the Internet and have never used e-mail, according to research firm Parks Associates.

A recent phone survey of US households by Parks found 20 million households are without Internet access, approximately 18 percent of all US households.

"Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates, in a statement. "These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the homes in the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, use a computer."

Age and education are factors in this divide, Park found. One-half of those who have never used e-mail are over 65, and 56 percent had no schooling beyond high school.

Parks found 7 percent of the 20 million disconnected homes plan to subscribe to an Internet service within the next 12 months. In 2006, Parks found that 29 percent of all US households -- 31 million homes -- did not have Internet access, citing low perceived value of the Internet.

"Many people just don't see a reason to use computers and do not associate technology with the needs and demands of their daily lives," Barrett said.

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Jim Duffy

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