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Factors Associated with Internet Use: Does Rurality Matter?

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Larry McKeown, Statistics Canada, and Anthony Noce and Peter Czerny, Industry Canada



  • In 2005, only 58% of residents living in rural and small town areas accessed the Internet, well below the national average.  Rates in Canada's largest urban areas ranged from 68% in Montreal to 77% in both Ottawa–Gatineau and Calgary.
  • This gap between rural and urban areas may reflect the interaction of other socio-economic factors or may represent another effect, such as broadband availability.
  • Individuals that are older, those with lower levels of education and those living in households with lower incomes were less likely to have used the Internet.
  • The importance of other factors associated with Internet use, such as gender and the presence of children, appears to have changed.  The presence of children in a household has no statistically significant effect on an individual’s use of the Internet, while women have greater odds of using the Internet than men.


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