Computer divide between white, black students narrows; Internet gap remains wide

May 16, 2000 11:42 a.m.

Although black students are catching up to their white peers in using computers at school, research by a Princeton University economist suggests a gap has opened in use of the latest technology, such as accessing the Internet.

A study by Alan B. Krueger, professor of economics and public affairs, found that between 1993 and 1997, students of all races became more likely to use computers at school. At the high school level, the white-black gap in computer use -- defined as any use involving a computer keyboard -- has disappeared.

Despite the increased computer use by all groups, Krueger's study suggests that groups use the technology for different purposes. Only 14.8 percent of African-American students, and 11.7 percent of Hispanic students, used computers to access the Internet in school in 1997. By comparison, about 20.5 percent of white students used the Internet.

Contact: Justin Harmon (609) 258-3601