Internet use lags in Visayas; urban-rural gap narrows — SWS

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THE Social Weather Stations (SWS) polling organization said Internet usage remained unevenly distributed in the Philippines, with adoption rates among adults highest in Metro Manila and just over half of the capital region’s rate in the Visayas.

The March 2019 survey also noted that 56% of adults in urban areas are Internet users, down from 62% in the December survey. For rural residents the take-up rate was 38%, up from 37% in the previous quarter.

SWS said Internet users living in Metro Manila accounted for 64% of total residents, up from 59% in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the take-up rate in Balance Luzon was 48%, down from 56% previously. The Mindanao rate was 39%, up from 32%, and the corresponding proportion for the Visayas was 34%, down from 35%.

The study, conducted in late March, had 1,440 participants. Internet usage among women was 50%, up from 49% a quarter earlier. Meanwhile, some 41% of male respondents said they were Internet users, down from 44%.

SWS found that Internet usage to be highest within the 18-24 age group, with a penetration rate of 86%, followed by the 25-34 cohort at 71%, and 35-44 at 55%.

SWS also reported that Internet use among university graduates was 79%, up from 77% three months earlier. The take-up rates for those with high school educations was 58%, down from 60% a quarter earlier. The corresponding rate for those with elementary-level educations was 33%, up from 31% in the previous quarter.

The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews with respondents ages 18 years old and above. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6% for national percentages and plus or minus 5% each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras