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Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2015

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Popularity of Broadband Internet Subscription And Computer Types

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Attribute to: Camille Ryan, Demographer

"You can find a job.  Order groceries.  Take classes. Socialize. Access to computers and broadband internet is increasingly important to our way of life. Among all households, 78 percent had a desktop or laptop.  75 percent had a handheld computer like a smartphone.  77 percent had a broadband Internet subscription.  But a digital divide does exist between those who have and those who lack access to computers and the internet."

Digital Divide By Age

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Attribute to: Camille Ryan, Demographer

"You can see differences in computer ownership and internet use by several demographic characteristics including age. Only 65 percent of households headed by someone aged 65 years and older owned or used a desktop or laptop.  That contrasts with 85 percent of households headed by someone 35 to 44 years old.  Furthermore, 90 percent of households with someone aged 15 to 34 had a handheld computer versus 47 percent where the householder was 65 years and older."

Geographic Trends In Broadband Internet Use

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Attribute to: Camille Ryan, Demographer

"Nationwide, Pacific Coast states and most states in the Northeast had higher levels of broadband internet use.  These were also states with higher incomes than the national average.  Meanwhile, most southern states ranked below the national average in broadband internet use and also tended to have lower median household income. But while high income is associated with higher broadband internet use, some states don’t fit the pattern.  The District of Columbia had higher incomes than the national average. Idaho had lower incomes than the national average, but in both of these areas, the percentage of households with broadband was not statistically different than the national average of 77 percent."

Broadband Internet Use And Computer Type By Race And Hispanic Origin

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Component ID: #ti44399283

Attribute to: Camille Ryan, Demographer

"Asian households were most likely to own or use a desktop or laptop, own or use a handheld device and have a broadband internet subscription.  About 80 percent reported a combination of these three items. That’s compared to 65 percent of households headed by whites, 55 percent of Hispanic households and 49 percent of black households.  But it interesting to note that although black and Hispanic households had low connectivity overall, they did have a high proportion of handheld only households – meaning households that relied solely on a handheld device to access the internet. In fact, black households reported the highest level of handheld-only households among all households headed by each race and Hispanic origin group."

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Background Information

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