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One in five Americans has never used e-mail

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Today’s Monitor story on closing the digital divide in Africa highlights what an important role the Internet plays in the job market worldwide.

Many parents in developing countries want three things for their kids: “They want them to learn English. They want them to learn how to drive. And they want them to have computer skills,” says William Wright, who set up the Mozambique computer center that’s featured in Stephanie Hanes’s piece.

But even in the US, that last item has languished. About 20 percent of American households have no Internet access, according to a new study by the market-research firm Parks Associates.

“Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document,” says research director John Barrett, in a press release. “These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the homes in the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, use a computer.”

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