This publication presents data and insights about internet access and use in Israel, highlighting age, sector, and geography-related digital gaps. Data is based on the social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics for 2020 (published in the mid 2021).
Availability and Use of Personal Computer in Israel
- 17.5% of Israelis aged 20 and over (1,001,474 people) have no computer at home (compared with 4,710,757 people who own a home computer).
- 15.6% of Israelis (894,496 people) have no internet connection.
- 30% of the Israeli public (1,710,048) don’t use a computer (during the three months before the survey).
- 853,922 people have a computer at home, but they don’t use it (18.1%). Only 145,783 people use computers but have no computer at home.
Connectivity and Internet Use – Geographical Analysis
Unsurprisingly, almost every person who owns a computer has an internet connection. Only 3.7% of those owning a home computer have no internet connection. Only 5.7% of those who have an internet connection at home have no home computer: 276,335 people don’t own a home computer but have an internet connection. 174,701 people have a computer at home but no internet connection.
The following chart presents significant differences between geographical districts in Israel when it comes to the number of people without a home computer or internet connection:
About 2 out of 10 people in Jerusalem have neither a computer nor internet at home. In Tel Aviv, the number is approximately one out of 10. Across the Golan Heights, all respondents had either an internet connection or a computer at home.
Notably, the absence of a computer or an internet connection at home is not an indication of one’s online access – people connect to the internet using a smartphone or computers at the workplace.
Classification of Internet Users in Israel
90.1% of Israelis over the age of 20 (about 5,152,736 people) use the internet. Therefore, 9.9% of people aged 20 and older don’t use the internet.
Distribution of internet users in Israel by age groups
The following charts feature a mark over each column, representing the group’s share among the general population. The graphs show their relative share among internet users compared with their percentage in the general population.
There is no significant difference between Israeli internet users in terms of ages, except for a relatively low percentage of 50-59-year-olds, deriving mainly from their smaller share in the population.
The share of people aged 60+ is higher than their share among internet users, derived from the data presented above and indicating this group has low internet use.
Sectoral Segmentation of Internet Users in Israel
The different segment of each sectoral group among internet users originates from population size. However, some sectors of internet users are either over or underrepresented compared with their share in the population. The discrepancy is particularly relevant to secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews: 37.4% of internet users are secular Jews – a higher proportion than their share in the population. Only 5.6% of ultra-Orthodox people use the internet – much lower than their share in the general population. These gaps result from the sectoral digital gap presented in the previous chart.
Populations Who Don’t Use the Internet:
Examining the ages of Israelis who don’t use the internet reveals a significant inter-generational digital gap between people aged 60 or older (about 25.3% of the Israeli population) and the rest.
- Almost a quarter of people aged 60 or older don’t use the internet – extremely high compared to other age groups.
Data reveals no significant gender-related digital gap among internet users in Israel: of those who don’t access the internet, 10.3% are women, and 9.4% are men.
Significant digital gaps between sectors and social-cultural groups:
The ultra-Orthodox population stands out in terms of reduced online access: more than a third of ultra-Orthodox don’t access the internet via a computer or a smartphone. The number increases in correlation to religiousness (among the Jewish population, including traditional and religious).
The ultra-Orthodox sector also stands out in terms of internet connection at home: 57.8% of the ultra-Orthodox have no home internet connection. The Arab-Druze population is also part of this trend, though to a lesser extent.
When focusing on minority groups represented in the previous two charts, there is a gap of about 20% between the columns. In other words, while these sectors account for a relatively high percentage of people without an internet connection at home, the number of non-connected respondents is significantly lower.
Digital Gap Among Social-Cultural Groups: Key Findings
- 43.2% of ultra-Orthodox who have no internet connection at home access the internet in other ways. Among the Arab-Druze population, the number is 75.6%. Alternative means of online access include smartphones, workplace computers, and more.
- In the Arab-Druze sector, smartphones represent a significant way to bridge the digital gap, with 75.6% of those without an internet connection at home accessing the internet via smartphones. On the other hand, in the ultra-Orthodox society, smartphones play a much lesser role in bridging the gap – only 15.4% of ultra-Orthodox without an internet connection at home access it via smartphones.
Key geographical findings
The digital gaps among Israelis are also visible geographically. The most significant gap is demonstrated in the number of people who don’t access the internet via computers or smartphones. For example, 15.3% of the people in Jerusalem don’t use the internet, while only 6.7% of Petach Tikva residents don’t access the internet at all.