The digital divide in the city of Barcelona

The report The digital divide in the city of Barcelona describes Barcelonans ICT access, use, and the quality of their use. It was put out by the Mobile World Capital Foundation at the request of the Barcelona City Hall, in an effort to detect disparities between districts.


Factors such as age, education, income level and employment impact the way information and knowledge are accessed, giving rise to what has been called the “digital divide.” Specifically, the digital divide refers to the inequality between those who have access to knowledge via new technologies, and those without it. 

My colleges from 300.000 km/s published an intelligent and insightful review of the details of the report which they conclude like that: In addition, when the economic factor is combined with other variables, such as gender, age and education, inequalities do emerge with regards to access, use, and the quality of ICT usage amongst the citizens of Barcelona. For example, the digital divide is notable in low-income neighbourhoods in the case of women ages 65 to 74 with limited educations and who are not employed or dedicated to housework.

I worked with the team from 300.000 km/s on data visualizations and cartographic analysis. We designed the online version for which I had the honor to make some interactive visualizations in d3.js and javascript.

The most data is presented in a triple visualization consisting in a Sankey diagram representing the digital devide. Clicking on a data row or column shows you the questions asked to 5000 people from Barcelona. And selecting an answer draws the distribution by neighbourhoods:


The second visualization shows the distribution of user profiles, such as Advanced, Intermediate, Basic, Sporadic and Nonuser, by areas of income or by districts:


The third visualization is a comparision of all answers by districts of Barcelona. Selecting a neighbourhood and moving the mouse over the bar chart shows the normalized value compared to another neighbourhood:


The data from the study carried out by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, as well as its subsequent analysis and the conclusions drawn from it, are available directly in the PDF version of the report.

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