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Smartphones Put Americans on Same Digital Footing

Oleksiy Mark/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The so-called "digital divide" between white and black Americans is narrowing thanks to smartphones.

A report by the Pew Research Center found that while 87 percent of white respondents use the Internet, only 80 percent of blacks can make that claim. The difference is even more stark among African-Americans over 50 or those who did not attend college.

Yet, smartphones seem to be equally pervasive among both races with virtually no difference in ownership among whites and blacks in their 20s or with a college education.

Pew also reported on the "high speed access gap" as only one in ten black adults say they're connected to broadband at home. Once again, smartphones are helping to shrink that gap somewhat.

The survey of 6,000 people also looked at the online habits of whites and blacks, finding that those in the 18-29 age group are equally inclined to use the various social networks. While Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn usage was about the same, 40 percent of young black adults say they're on Twitter, compared to 28 percent of their white counterparts.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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