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One in four Sri Lankan households own a computer: survey

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Sep 29, 2016 (LBO) - At least one computer is available in 24 percent of households in Sri Lanka, in urban as well as rural areas, the Department of Census and Statistics said in its Computer Literacy report for 2015. "That is about one out of every four households owns either a desktop or a laptop computer," the Department said. "This percentage is 41.5 percent in urban sector, and rural and estate sector show 22 percent and 4.5 percent respectively." The highest availability is in Western province at 38.5 percent, while the lowest availability is reported from Uva at 12.5 percent. "Percentage of computer literate population (Computer Literacy) over the survey periods has been gradually increasing," it said. Overall computer literacy reported in 2015 for Sri Lanka is 27.1 percent. The survey results show an increase of 11 percentage points from 2006/07 to 2015. It was revealed that about 57.3 percent of the households have acquired the first computer during the last five years (2011 – 2015) and in last five years the rural sector shows a higher recent acquisition (61.1%) than the urban sector (47.1%). The urban sector shows the highest computer literacy rate (39.2%) among residential sectors. Computer literacy rate for rural and estate are 25.5 percent and 9.0 percent respectively. Among the provinces the highest level of computer literacy is reported from the Western province (38.4%) while the lowest percentage is reported from Eastern province. Computer literacy by district level shows the existing differences among districts and further shows the prevailing digital divide, it said. The survey results reveal that higher the level of education, the higher is the computer literacy. The group with A/L or above level of education shows the highest computer literacy rate (70.0%). Also computer literacy is higher among those who are literate in English language (69.5%). Computer literacy among the employed population who are aware of computer in Sri Lanka is around 52 % in 2015 and the positions such as Senior officials and Managers (70.8%), Professionals (83.9%), Technical and Associate professionals (82.9%) and Clerks and Clerical support workers (88.7%) have higher computer literacy. Also, even among the individuals engage in elementary occupations 22 percent are computer literate. Different usage patterns of internet usage can be observed among districts.
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In 2015 Colombo district shows the highest percentage (28.1%) of population using internet while Badulla district shows the lowest percentage (3.5%). According to data 8.9 percent of the household population aged 5 – 69 years has used E–mail facility at least once during the last 12 months period. Highest e-mail usage is reported from the Colombo district (21.9%). The lowest e–mail usage among the districts has reported from the Badulla district (3.4%)
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