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Digitally connected living and quality of life

An analysis of the Gauteng City-Region, South Africa.

Article image

Jason Cohen, Jean-Marie Bancilhon, Thomas Grace

21 December 2017

Wiley Online Library


Lucille Tetley-Brown

Journal article


South Africa

Access to digitally connected living should support social and economic inclusion and provide opportunities for people to improve their quality of life. Yet evidence linking digital access and quality of life is lacking. We contribute by examining the relationship between quality of life and the extent to which individuals have accessed the internet and whether they own their devices and connectivity. The dataset covers 27 490 individuals living in the Gauteng City-Region of South Africa.


Results show that after controlling for other factors, individuals who are digitally connected exhibit significantly larger scores on quality of life indicators than individuals without access. However, 95% of individuals without access are from households below the median income category, and the odds of access are 9.85 times as large for those above median income than for those below median income. Thus, digitally connected living depends on, and cannot be disentangled from, preexisting opportunities for social and economic inclusion.


Access the article here.


Abstract based directly on original source. Back to the SmartCity.ZA collection.


Website References

Cost of living

Digital Divide

Digital access


Human settlements


Inclusive cities

Quality of life

Smart Cities

Social development

Social facilities

South Africa

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