Assessing the Second-Level Digital Divide in Austria: A Representative Study on Demographic Differences in Digital Competences




Digital competences areas, digital divide, knowledge test, self-assessment, Austria, second-level divide


The second-level digital divide concerns individual levels of digital competences and demographic indicators of digital gaps. In this paper, we have analysed empirical data that allow a thorough and differentiated look into the second-level digital divide with a rigorous methodological quantitative approach. We investigated the relationship between results from a self-assessment of one’s own digital competences, and a knowledge test about digital tools among Austrian citizens (N=1109). The study explores second-level digital divides in gender, education level, age, first language, and length of time living in the country regarding respective competence levels and areas, referring to the Digital Competence Model for Austria - DigComp 2.2 AT. Results show that the digital gender divide is paramount across all competence areas, while the age divide remains strong when comparing under 18-year-olds with over 60-year-olds. Moreover, positive effects are related to education level and first language.


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