Digital Divides among Asylum‐Related Migrants: Comparing Internet Use and Smartphone Ownership

Maria Merisalo (Corresponding Author), Jussi S. Jauhiainen (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This paper studies asylum-related migrants’ Internet use and smartphone ownership. In total, 2,454 asylum-related migrants originating from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East (37 countries) answered the surveys in the European Union migration hotspots (Lesvos in Greece and Lampedusa in Italy) and in transit/host countries (Iran, Jordan, and Turkey). Internet use was studied at three phases: before the actual journey in the country of origin, during the journey before entering the hotspot or transit/host location, and at the hotspot or transit/host location where smartphone ownership was also studied. During their journeys (from the country of origin to hotspot or transit/host location), the differences in Internet use regarding education and urban/rural backgrounds diminished and vanished in regards to gender. In the transit/host or hotspot location, many respondents started to use the Internet even if they had not used it before in their country of origin.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
Early online date2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • digital divide
  • the Internet
  • survey
  • asylum
  • migrant
  • refugee

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