Building on the findings from our global project, Why IT Makes You Happier, prepared for the Chartered Institute of IT, this report seeks to understand why some social groups may benefit more from the use of technology than others, focussing specifically on the UK.

The global project used secondary research of the World Values Survey – with over 35,000 respondents’ data analysed – and established a positive statistical relationship between access to IT and factors linked to well-being. This report delves deeper into the results, using the UK as a case study, to understand the drivers of these findings.

The analysis found that IT empowers the disempowered, with much of the improvement linked to IT felt by those from what we might call ‘disempowered’ groups – those with fewer educational qualifications or lower incomes. These groups saw the largest increases in their sense of freedom and control as a direct result of IT. Similar findings were identified in relation to women, while ‘new users’ those with less than two years’ experience of using computers, saw the greatest benefit – particularly useful when considering the role of IT in the improvement of conditions in older groups who may have little to no experience of using communications technology.