Thumbnail of report cover 'Digital Exclusion in Gypsy and Traveller communities in the United Kingdom'

Digital Exclusion in Gypsy and Traveller communities in the United Kingdom

Publication type: Report

Author: Friends, Families and Travellers

Themes: Discrimination, Education, Health and Social Care

Digital technology has been responsible for the biggest changes we have seen in the last century in health, social care, education, employment and further afield. However, whilst digital technology has been behind some of the biggest advances and changes society has made in recent years, it can also act to worsen the inequalities experienced by some groups. We interviewed 50 people from Gypsy and Traveller communities across the UK to find out the extent of digital inclusion and identify barriers for Gypsy and Traveller communities in digital participation.

Key Findings

  • One in five Gypsy and Traveller participants had never used the internet, compared to one in ten members of the general population.
  • Over half of Gypsy and Traveller participants said that they did not feel confident using digital technology by themselves.
  • Only two in five Gypsies and Travellers surveyed said that they use the internet daily, compared to four out of five of the general population.
  • Only 38% of Gypsies and Travellers (33% if housed) had a household internet connection, compared to 86% of the general population.


  • NHS England should develop partnerships with the voluntary sector and industry to support digital inclusion for people with low literacy.
  • Public health messages and digital health services should be designed to be accessible for people with low literacy.
  • Policy makers should consider the digital exclusion faced by Gypsy and Traveller communities when carrying out Equality Impact Assessments.
  • All government services which take a digital first approach should ensure that other options are available to populations experiencing digital exclusion.
  • NHS England should negotiate with mobile phone providers so the NHS website can be accessed at little or no cost for people with no internet connection.
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