Thursday, January 22, 2015

Access to quality broadband linked to population growth in U.S. counties, study finds

People are more likely to move somewhere that offers good broadband services, says a study by Broadband Communities that found that "counties with better broadband access are adding population at 10 times the rate of counties that lack good broadband connections," Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder.

The study says that counties in the top 10 percent of broadband-access rankings had an average population growth of 3.18 percent from 2010 to 2013, while counties in the top half averaged a population growth of 2.79 percent, Marema writes. Counties in the bottom half averaged an increase of 0.27 percent, but counties in the bottom 10 percent had a population decline of 0.55 percent. From 2010 to 2012, rural counties lost population for the first time.

"The study used data from the Census and the National Broadband Map for all 3,144 U.S. counties plus the District of Columbia," Marema writes. "It ranked counties by broadband access on a percentile basis within each state and then calculated population changes for counties grouped into those rankings." (Yonder map: Percent of population within county with access to at least 25 Mbps download speed. Dots represent all 3,144 counties)

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