Manchester is reported as most digitally inclusive city, offering 11 Digital Inclusion Hubs per 100,000 population.
Recognising the issue of digital poverty, the first ever National Databank was launched in 2021 by Good Things Foundation to tackle data poverty by providing free mobile data for people who cannot afford or don’t feel able to adopt a predominantly digital lifestyle.
This Uswitch mobiles analysis has looked at the number of National Databanks, Digital Inclusion Hubs, and Digital skill workshops on offer around the UK, compared against the average employment rate, and GINI coefficient in each of the locations, to determine where digital inclusion and exclusion is most prevalent.
With the Good Things Foundation aiming to help over 200,000 people by the end of 2023, Uswitch research reveals that the UK currently has a total of 2,712 databanks, digital inclusion hubs and digital skills workshops, with 361 of these being databanks.
The most digitally inclusive locations:
|Rank||Location||Poverty index (out of 100)||Digital Inclusion Hub (per 100,000 people)||Databanks (per 100,000 people)|
Combining a poverty index score of 59.2 and an average of 11.2 Digital Inclusion Hubs per and 5.6 databanks 100,000 people, Manchester takes the lead as the most digitally inclusive location in the UK.
Whilst London had the most databanks overall, with 38, when taking into account the capital’s population of over 8.7 million, London only have 0.4 databanks per 100,000 people.
Coventry sits just behind Manchester with an average of 10.7 Digital Inclusion Hubs per 100,000 people. The city has a higher employment rate and number of people accessing the internet in the past three months. However, the city has less than half of Manchester’s databanks per 100,000 (2.6), exemplifying room for improvement.
Liverpool, Hull and Leicester all have just under five Digital Inclusion Hubs and on average one databank per 100,000. With a poverty index score at the upper third of the rankings, the cities are putting in resources to accommodate those in data poverty. However, more could be done to bring them to compete with the likes of Manchester and Coventry.
Uswitch’s mobile expert, Rehan Ali comments “
Manchester has emerged as the most digitally inclusive location in the UK. The city has identified the demand for digitally inclusive services for its residents that cannot afford mobile data to access digital services or for those who need support with accessing them, due to lack of online skills. “
“Our data shows that while Manchester is considerably smaller than the country’s capital, London has considerably less digital inclusion hubs and databanks per 100,000 people. This shows the vast support and improvement needed for individuals and families around the country to carry out essential tasks that require an internet connection.
This research highlights the urgent need to address digital poverty and ensure that mobile data is readily available for everyone to access basic government, council and financial systems – regardless of their social class, unemployment status and personal arrangements..”
Find out more on the Greater Manchester Databank
If you are looking for a low cost data plan, visit Uswitch’s SIM only deals to see the best deals.
For more information please contact:
- Jessica Fairfax, Uswitch.com on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alex Hickson, TrunkBBI on email@example.com
Notes to editors:
The data has been split into the poverty index and a list of databanks by city. The index was calaulated using 5 metrics that were ranked to give cities with more poverty a higher score. The average poverty score was the compared against the number of databanks per capita in order to identify any correlation between the two datasets.
- City: List of cities collected from Centre for cities to ensure the cities used had data available. - https://www.centreforcities.org/city/aldershot/
- Population - Population data was collected from ONS: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/populationandhouseholdestimatesenglandandwalescensus2021
- Population (100,000's) - The population of each city was divided by 100,000
- Digital Inclusion Hub/Databanks/Digital Skills - The number of digital inclusion hubs was collected from Good Things Foundation. The list includes hubs that are within it's network and is not a complete list of the whole of the UK. as well as if they offered data bank or digital skills services. The location of each hub was defined by using the defined town as well as their postcodes: https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/our-network-services-map/
- % of data banks - The % of data banks was calculated by dividing the number of databanks by the number of digital inclusion hubs
- Income deprivation- Average score (low is better) - Collected from the source listed. Complete equality would result in a Gini coefficient of zero, and complete inequality, a Gini coefficient of 100: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/datasets/mappingincomedeprivationatalocalauthoritylevel
- % of population that have used the internet in the last 3 months (2020) - Collected from the source listed. Data was allocated to cities by their low level geographical location: ://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/datasets/internetusers
- Employment Rate (2022): https://www.centreforcities.org/city/aldershot/
- GINI coefficient: https://www.centreforcities.org/data-tool/#graph=table&city=show-all&indicator=welfare-spend-per-capita\\single\\2014&tableOrder=tableOrder\\1,1
- Average Index - The five metrics listed were indexed with cities scoring a higher score if it suggested more poverty. These scores were then averaged to give a final index score allowing cities to be ranked on poverty level.