23% of French people still reluctant to use a smartphone

The last decade has contributed to intensively generalizing the use of smartphones among the French population. Thanks to the fall in the price of products sold in stores or the proliferation of advantageous offers from operators and manufacturers, 77% of the population aged 15 or over had a smartphone in 2021, according to recent figures provided by INSEE.

However, there is still a significant gap between the number of inhabitants equipped with a smartphone and those who are content with a phone not equipped with a mobile internet connection, some by choice, but a large majority by necessity above all. . As indicated by the statistical institute, 21% of the French population indicated in 2021 to be equipped with a mobile phone, while less than one person aged 15 or over out of 100 declares not to have a phone, that whether fixed or mobile.

As INSEE points out, people who do not have fixed or mobile telephone lines are often also without an internet connection. Only a third of people without a phone had home internet access in 2021, compared to 91% of the population. Worse still: more than half of this population has never used the internet in their lifetime (compared to 10% of the population). Enough to give food for thought to the authorities, at a time when the debates on the digital divide are in full swing.

A multifactorial fracture

The poorest are more likely to be cut off from all connectivity: 1% of the 40% of the poorest French people are in this situation, as well as 1% of single people, 2% of people without qualifications and 1% of people living in rural areas. the most remote areas of the territory. Among the illustrations provided by INSEE to this patent inequality is the situation in Overseas France. In the overseas territories, the statistical institute notes that the proportion of unequipped people is twice as high as in mainland France: it reaches 2% of the population there, against less than 1% in France.

Still, the divide seems above all generational. While less than one in 100 people aged 15 or over say they do not have a telephone, fixed or mobile, “those who are not equipped are mainly among people aged 75 or over”, indicates INSEE, which figures 3% of people in this category who do not have a smartphone, telephone or even landline. For their part, the 15-29 year olds are very well equipped. 99% of this age group have a mobile (and 94% a smartphone). Conversely, only 80% of those aged 75 or over own a mobile phone and 36% own a smartphone.

The level of diploma also seems to play a role in the digitization of the population. The rate of mobile equipment varied in 2021 between 87% among non-graduates, 96% among holders of a secondary school diploma and more than 98% after obtaining the baccalaureate. Insee also goes further by explaining that the rate of equipment evolves according to the standard of living. “Overall, the higher the standard of living, the more people are equipped with mobile phones”, explains the institution, which notes that the rate of equipment exceeds 99% for the 10% of the population who have the highest standard of living. higher.

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