04/06/2013 04:13 BST | Updated 04/06/2013 04:24 BST

British Young People More Tech Savvy Than Global Average - But Gender Gaps Persist

girl standing in front of...
girl standing in front of...

Young people in the UK are almost twice as tech savvy as the worldwide average - but men are still much more confident in their abilities than women.

Around 49% of people aged 18-30 in the UK think they have an "excellent" knowledge of tech, according to a survey carried out on 12,000 people in 27 countries by O2.

That compares to a 'global' average of around 30%, making UK young more confident than their peers.

However the study also found that men are still more positive about technology, and more confident in their ability to use it.

O2/Telefonica said the findings showed a "worrying divide" on gender.

More than twice as many UK men said they were on the "cutting edge" of tech compared to women (35% vs 14%).

Men were twice as likely to say technology had shaped their outlook on life (47% vs. 23%) and were also twice as likely to be identified as so-called "millennial leaders" - those with an expert-level of tech knowledge and influence.

Telefonica UK CEO, Ronan Dunne said in a statement: “It’s inspiring to see that they are putting technology at the heart of their future success but we must do more to help young men and, in particular, young women realise their digital potential."

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Globally, British youth are marginally more positive generally about the benefits of tech compared to their peers. The survey said 22% of so-called "millennials" describe themselves as "on the cutting edge" overall, versus 19% among the 27 countries surveyed.

Other findings included:

  • 73% said technology "creates more opportunity for all"
  • 76% said technology makes it easier to get a job
  • 90% said tech makes language barriers easier to overcome
  • 72% said tech has made government more transparent

The survey added that British teenagers own more gadgets and computers than the global average:

  • 85% own a smartphone (76% worldwide)
  • 82% own a laptop (74% worldwide)
  • 33% own a tablet (28% worldwide)

The O2/Telefonica survey also looked at the political priorities of 18-30 year olds, finding that only 31% thought climate change was a "very pressing" issue (vs 53% worldwide), 63% thought they would have to work indefinitely and a majority (57% don't think their political system represents their values).