An estimated 78.1 percent of people in U.S. households had a high-speed Internet connection last year, according to a report released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, digital divides exist among the nation’s metropolitan areas and demographic groups.
These statistics come from the American Community Survey, which collected data on this topic for the first time in 2013 and is the largest survey used to examine computer and Internet use in the U.S.
Although most Americans have access to computers and high-speed Internet, differences in high-speed Internet use were as large as 25 percentage points between certain age and race groups, while divides between specific income and educational attainment groups were as large as 45 percentage points.
Boulder, Colo., had one of the highest rates of high-speed Internet use at 96.9, while Laredo, Texas, had one of the lowest rates at 69.3 percent.
The report shows 75.2 percent of metropolitan area households reported high-speed Internet use, compared with 63.1 percent of nonmetropolitan households. In addition, 85.1 percent of metropolitan households reported owning a computer, compared with 76.5 percent of nonmetro households.
Some states, such as California, Florida and Washington, had a variety of high and low performing areas, often very near one another.
The most common household connection type was cable modem (42.8 percent), followed by mobile broadband (33.1 percent) and digital subscriber line (DSL) (21.2 percent).
About a quarter of all households had no paid Internet subscription (25.6 percent).
Only 1 percent of all households reported connecting to the Internet using only a dial-up connection.
— Lake Tahoe News staff report