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UK Consumer Digital Index 2019 – National and regional findings and case study stories

In order to provide localised targeted insight, a selection of the Consumer Digital Index findings are provided at regional level. This aims to provide a more local lens for Government, industry partners, education providers and tech companies, enabling more targeted strategies for the digital inclusion agenda across the UK.

Please find below an overview of some of our key findings and case study stories at a regional level.

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Case study stories

This year we have spoken to over 7,000 people either face to face or on the phone to shape the 2019 report. Every data point is a person, and we speak to a number of these people to bring their story to life on how digital plays a part in their every day routine and how It helps in day to day life.

This short video shows members of the community in the North East who benefit from the support of their local online centre and library. Watch the video to hear from David, Lee and Rab on how they benefit from digital.

Select your region

Key highlights from East of England

East England UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 9% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 74% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 52% 47%

Richard and Jean’s story

“We do our shopping online, you can save yourself an awful lot of money just by researching and then purchasing it online. We used to have to go to the doctors to get a prescription, now we can do it online, and we do our banking online as well to keep on top of the weekly spend. The people that don’t use it are just frightened of it, but if they just had someone to show them through it, it’s surprising how quickly you pick it up.”

Richard and Jean

East of England regional factsheet 2019 (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from the East Midlands

East Midlands UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 11% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 77% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 41% 47%

Andy’s story

“I check my balances daily using digital and I look at what I’m spending, it helps me manage my day-to-day money, but some people don’t like to do their finances online, they’re worried their details are going to get pinched. You can pay your bills, get cheaper car insurance, house insurance – you just look around on the websites. My skills are pretty basic, but I’m not worried, I can always find someone to do it for me. I couldn’t live without it now.”

Andy Puttick Corby

East Midlands regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from England

The results for England are very similar to the UK average, but slightly differ from those for Wales and Scotland. England is 3% more likely than Scotland to be in the Digital First capability segment, and this rises to 11% more likely in comparison to Wales. The Digital First segment is also forecasted to increase by 7 percentage points by 2030, to 70%. However, it is also forecasted that 8% will still be Digitally Disengaged by this time, and the key action that needs to be taken is increasing the levels of training and addressing issues relating to online security, as currently 61% of those not using the internet state this to be the reason.

Northern Ireland UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 9% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 78% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 47% 47%

Richard and Jean’s story

“We do our shopping online, you can save yourself an awful lot of money just by researching and then purchasing it online.  We used to have to go to the doctors to get a prescription, now we can do it online, and we do our banking online as well to keep on top of the weekly spend.  The people that don’t use it are just frightened of it, but if they just had someone to show them through it, it’s surprising how quickly you pick it up.”

Richard and Jean

England national factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from London

London has the lowest proportion of people in the UK offline, with only 5% not using the internet (4 percentage points lower than the UK average). London is also the most likeliest to have full Essential Digital Skills for the work place (56%) in comparisons to other regions and nations. However, 34% of people in London feel like their digital skills still are not good enough, despite 70% of people having thought they improved their digital skills in the last year (5 percentage points higher than the UK average).This may be due to more digital capability demand from employers in this region.

London UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 5% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 78% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 56% 47%

 

Reginald’s story

“I prefer using the internet for any information that I need, anything I don’t know that I’d love to know. There’s so much information waiting to be explored, which you can find online. I think of it more for educational purposes, in terms of updating myself.”

Reginald Fernandes

London regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from the North East

The North East has one of the lowest proportions of people with Essential Digital Skills for the workplace (12% less than the UK average). However, 79% of people have the Essential Digital Skills for life, which is slightly higher than the UK average, suggesting that the region could benefit from an increased emphasis on workplace digital skills.

North East UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 10% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 79% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 35% 47%

Lindsay’s story

“For me, using my mobile means I can do anything at any time. When it comes to my finances I check my bank app daily and it's really helpful to stay on top of my finances. The app makes it really easy to transfer money to my friends and family. If I don't have any cash in my purse and a friend buys me something, I can transfer the money on the spot.”

Lindsay

North East regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from the North West

10% of people in the North West are offline; this has decreased by only 1% in the last 4 years. 67% state this is because they have no interest in using digital and 57% say this is because of privacy and security concerns, showing these reasons need to be the key areas of focus to tackling this issue. Cumbria also has the highest proportion of people who are Digitally Disengaged (15%), followed by Merseyside (13%), suggesting opportunities in those areas to address security issues and a lack of interest in using digital.

North West UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 10% 8%
Proportion of people with full essential Digital Skills for Life 78% 78%
Proportion of people with full essential Digital Skills for Work 44% 47%

Paula’s story

“I started going online over ten years ago, I learnt through training at work. Now I use it for all kinds of things like checking the weather, browsing online and doing my shopping. For me the biggest benefit is being able to stay in control of my finances 24/7.”

Paula

North West regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from Scotland

Scotland is 11% more likely than the UK average to have full Essential Digital Skills for the workplace. Also, Scotland is 15% less likely than the UK average to feel like their digital skills aren’t good enough, showing that the nation is more digitally confident than other parts of the UK. However there are still barriers to overcome, for the 7% that are still offline in the region, 72% have no interest in being online and 39% say they aren’t online because they feel it’s too complicated.

Scotland UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 7% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 78% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 52% 47%

Alison’s story

“Over the last few years I have been to a few computer courses at my community centre, Coatbridge Library and the bank. My husband and I used to go dancing and now I know how to look up dances on the iPad and it's lovely to be able to listen to the music we remember. I know a fair bit about what the internet can do, but I would like to keep learning so I can make better use of the benefits, I think there's a lot more I would be interested in.”

Betty

Scotland regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from the South East

The South East has the highest proportion of people in any nation or region with full Essential Digital Skills for their day to day lives, at 81%. The South East also has one of the lowest rates of people offline, with only 6% of the region not using the internet. In order to keep this region’s digital capability competitive with other regions, there are some tangible actions which can be taken, which includes helping the 11% of people who don’t know how to connect to Wi-Fi in the region.

South East UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 6% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 81% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 51% 47%

Susanna’s story

“Since my partner and I bought a proper ‘fixer-upper’, we’ve had to really monitor our finances and using digital has really helped with this. We have three different credit cards to keep track of. I am constantly online moving money from one place to another and to be honest, if I couldn’t do that, I’d easily lose track of where our money goes. This is the only way to make it work!”

Susanna

South East regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from the South West

The South West has one of the most positive rates across all regions and nations in the UK for having Essential Digital Skills in the workplace, with 53% of people holding this credential (6 percentage points higher than the UK average). However, for the 8% who are offline in the region, 87% have no interest in being online and 73% attribute it to privacy and security concerns.

South West UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 8% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 79% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 53% 47%

Peter’s story

“Being online means I've been able to research how the house-buying process works and I've used forums to get hints and tips on where I can minimise costs. In the meantime, I've been using online vouchers and price comparison sites to help me save every penny I can!”

Peter

South West regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from Wales

Wales has the lowest proportion of people with Essential Digital Skills for life in the UK. 89% of people who are not using the internet state that this is because they have no interest in doing so, the highest rate of any nation or region. At 21%, the proportion of people in Wales feeling that their digital skills are not good enough, which is 6 percentage points lower than the UK average.

Wales UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 6% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 70% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 41% 47%

Riz’s story

“I use the internet every day at work and understand a lot about computers. Even so, I'm always surprised to find new ways to save money and find good deals online. As a new homeowner, it's great being able to find recommended decorators, plumbers and handymen online and to use price comparison sites to find cheaper ways to buy things. I also set up alerts so I'm notified when items go below a certain price online.”

Rizwan Khan

Wales regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from the West Midlands

Only 29% of people in the West Midlands have Essential Digital Skills for the workplace, which is the lowest proportion of people compared to all other regions and nations in the UK. This creates a particular opportunity to increase digital skills for work in this region. Of those people in the region who are offline, 84% state a lack of interest as their reason for not using digital services.

West Midlands UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 11% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 80% 78%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 29% 47%

Lisa’s story

“For me, having the internet is everything and means I can do anything at any time. I would be lost without my laptop, as it allows me to save a lot of time, whether that’s doing the weekly food shop or purchasing things on the internet (and being able to receive them the next day!). Having my phone also allows me to do all of this on the go, and have access to all of my content as it syncs between devices.”

Lisa Bradbury

West Midlands regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

Key highlights from Yorkshire & Humberside

Digital inclusion in the Yorkshire & Humberside region has improved significantly. In 2016, 17% of people were offline – in 2019 this is now 9%. However, there is a high proportion of people who feel their digital skills are not good enough; this is 7% higher than the UK average showing more up skilling is required in the region.

Yorkshire & Humberside UK average
Proportion of people who are offline 9% 8%
Proportion of people with full Essential Digital Skills for Life 78% 78%
Proportion of people with with full Essential Digital Skills for Work 45% 47%

Ricky’s story

“As a lorry driver, using digital is really beneficial for me. Without it, it would be harder not seeing events on the road or being warned about floods or roadwork's. I’ve got an app on my phone which shows where I can and can’t fill up and where I can get the lorry washed. I work away, so it means being close to people even though I’m 200 miles away. It’s second nature to me, I’ve just adapted to it. I’d be lost without it, even simple things like checking when the shops shut, or what time a program starts, online banking or catching up with people.”

Ricky McLean

Yorkshire & Humberside regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2019 (PDF)

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About us

The digital index is created with our partners. Find out how we have created the Index, hear thoughts from our partners and watch a short vlog from Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative industries.

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Tools and resources - what can you do to make a difference

Links to useful tools, reports and resources to help action key findings.

Read tools and resources

Read previous reports

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Download the report

Read the 2019 UK Consumer Digital Index report for full details.

Download report (PDF)