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UK Consumer Digital Index 2018 - Regional findings and case study stories

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

Please find below an overview of some of our key findings at a regional level.

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Case study stories

This year we have spoken to over 9,000 people either face to face or on the phone to shape the 2018 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 and financial capability plays a part in their every day routine.

This year we interviewed 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.

Below we also have a selection of other local case study stories from each region.

Select your region

Key highlights from East England


East England
UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 79% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 65% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 8%
8%

Pete’s story

“My phone has face recognition and I don’t even have to put a code in anymore. It recognises me and I can access my online banking. But it’s not just Halifax that I have apps for. I use all of them, weather applications, WhatsApp, YouTube and eBay. We love coffee so we have a Costa app, which we accrue points on. We also have a website linked to our GP, so I will order repeat prescriptions direct from my phone. We even have an app for our bills, I can go onto British Gas and book an appointment or get them to service our boiler and I can see what our energy usage is. As a family we are all up on our digital awareness. However security is my biggest concern. We’ve always got our minds on that, so all our telephones have got internet security applications running.”

Pete
New Costessey, East England

Peter McMillan

For more information download our full reports:

East England regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from the East Midlands


East Midlands
UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 71% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 56% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 9% 8%

Andy’s story

“Digital has really enhanced my life – I met my wife on the internet, I would never have been able to meet her without it. I also get to witness things I would normally miss with my grandson in Scotland – years ago we only would have been able to see them a few times a year, but we regularly Facetime and receive pictures from my daughter. Even on the day he was born. It really helps us to stay in contact and share precious moments.”

Andy
Corby, East Midlands

Andy Puttick Corby

For more information download our full reports:

East Midlands regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from London


London UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 82% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 62% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 6% 8%

 

Reginald’s story

“I use Facetime to communicate with my family in Goa and I use the messaging app WhatsApp. I use Netflix on my phone, if I’m travelling or away for a couple of days as I like to catch up with my TV series. But I’m not a gadget person. I prefer the outdoors, I prefer walking in the park or getting on my bike. I’d like to go back to what I was doing before, connecting with friends and family digitally isn’t the same as getting together over dinner or driving and visiting family. You try to digitally connect yourself and then forget the importance of being there in person.”

Reginald
West Drayton, London

Reginald Fernandes

For more information download our full reports:

London regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from the North East


North East
UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 71% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 62% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 12% 8%

David’s story

“I was originally self-taught as I built up my digital skills, but then signed up for a ‘learn my way’ course at the local library to improve my knowledge. Since completing the course I feel much more confident and now use my online skills on a daily basis to manage my finances, go shopping and to help with my hobbies and interests. I now volunteer at the library to support new learners and the disadvantaged in the local community as I believe digital inclusion massively supports social inclusion as the library and courses bring residents together.”

David
Newcastle upon Tyne, North East

David

For more information download our full reports:

North East regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from the North West


North West
UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 78% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 60% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 10% 8%

Doreen’s story

“I’ve always been reluctant to use digital. I just can’t see the benefits and don’t have the motivation to learn the new skills needed. The thought of trying to develop my digital skills to do my day to day activities is quite intimidating and I wouldn’t know where to start or where to go to for help. I only use cash to manage my finances and as such have to take a bus to get to the bank in the town centre to take out my pension which is sometimes tiring.”

Doreen
Manchester, North West

Doreen Williams

For more information download our full reports:

North West regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from Northern Ireland


Northern Ireland
UK average
Proportion of people with high digital and high financial capability 44% 55%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 47% 60%
Index Score
41.8 46.5

Jenny’s story

“I've been using the internet since a young school age, I think this was fundamental in me being so savvy with digital today. I love being able to have instant access and manage my finances online, the ease of shopping online and booking discounted holidays. I've recently renewed my car insurance, and thanks to the online discount, I've saved £650 compared to last year.”

Jenny
Belfast, Northern Ireland

Jenny Jackson

For more information download our full reports:

Northern Ireland regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from Scotland


Scotland UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 80% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 54% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 7% 8%

Alison’s story

“My digital usage is very much as and when required. Beyond staying in contact with people, I mainly use the internet to access information such as walking routes or gardening hints and tips. I also like to learn new things and look up new recipes to try. I do sometimes feel like I am being pushed into doing things online, it doesn’t always suit me or my daughter, who has a disability. I am very old fashioned and do prefer things on paper.”

Alison
Edinburgh, Scotland

Alison Binnie

For more information download our full reports:

Scotland regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from the South East


South East
UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 86% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 60% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 5% 8%

Chelsea’s story

“I’m a frequent internet user. It’s a daily affair, whether it’s work, social media or speaking with family and friends. I’ve got to that point where my communication with friends and family is more through social media than it is face-to-face. Although I’m full time at Specsavers, I’m quite into my skincare so I have a social media platform where I’m providing advice to perfect strangers as well as family and friends. Although it’s an advice platform, I also do product recommendations but I don’t actually sell the products as it’s more of a self-help platform than anything else. I previously had a beauty business I was running several years ago, so I’m familiar with how difficult it can be getting clientele. But Facebook is the biggest social media platform, so it’s a good place for me to start! I find it really empowering to have somebody a million miles away, that you might not necessarily know in person, but can support you in the way that they do.”

Chelsea
Southsea, South East

Chelsea Barrett

For more information download our full reports:

South East regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from the South West


South West
UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 81% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 57% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 9% 8%

Adam’s story

“Normally I am pretty terrible at managing my finances, but thanks to my banking app I stay on track. I’m always using the app to keep a real-time track of my money to see what I can spend for the rest of the month. I keep on top of my direct debits and standing orders, and if a bill is more expensive than I thought, I can plan based around that. I always check it before I go on a night out to see how much I can spend while socialising – I can also really easily transfer money on the spot to a friend if needed.”

Adam
Teignmouth, South West

Adam Mullen

For more information download our full reports:

South West regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from Wales


Wales UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 66% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 59% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 19% 8%

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.”

Riz
Cardiff, Wales

Rizwan Khan

For more information download our full reports:

Wales regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from the West Midlands


West Midlands
UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 76% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 64% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 9% 8%

Lisa’s story

“For me, having the internet is everything and means I can do anything at anytime. 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
Birmingham, West Midlands

Lisa Bradbury

For more information download our full reports:

West Midlands regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

Key highlights from Yorkshire & the Humber


Yorkshire & the Humber
UK average
Proportion of people with full Basic Digital Skills 81% 79%
Proportion of people who feel their digital skills have improved in the past year 68% 60%
Proportion of people with zero Basic Digital Skills 6% 8%

Ricky’s story

“I think I was born into this generation of internet and technology, so it’s like second nature to me. I’ve just adapted to it, using the internet itself to find out about other things you can do on the internet. I work away from home, so it means being close to people even though I’m 200 miles away. I can still see what my mates are doing if I’m down in London, and video calling with the baby, that’s a bonus. I’ve got a lot of truckers on Facebook, we all talk, it’s a big community. We’re all really good friends. It gives a sense of belonging. When I fill up with diesel, I’ve got an app on my phone to see where I can and can’t fill up, where I can get the lorry washed and to find nice places to eat. I’d be lost without it, with day-to-day stuff, a simple thing like checking when the shops shut, checking what time a programmes on, banking, catching up with people, I wouldn’t have anything.”

Ricky
Swinton, Yorkshire & Humberside

Ricky McLean

For more information download our full reports:

Yorkshire & the Humber regional factsheet (PDF)

Consumer Digital Index 2018 (PDF)

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About us

Access more information on the Consumer Digital 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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Download the report

Download the 2018 UK Consumer Digital Index for more detail.

Download report (PDF)

Download appendix (PDF)