Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rural-urban gap in internet use gap appears to be mostly about differences in education and income

A report by the National Telecommunications and Infrastructure Administration found that rural residents with high levels of education and household income use the internet at similar rates as well-off urban residents, but a rural-urban disparity exists among people with lower education and household incomes, Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. The report states: "People with lower levels of educational attainment were even more likely to find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide when living in a rural area."
Eighty-three percent of rural residents with a college degree use the internet, compared to 84 percent of urban college graduates, Marema writes. At the same time, 63 percent of rural residents with only a high school diploma use the internet, compared to 69 percent of urban ones and 52 percent of rural residents without a high school diploma use the internet, compared to 59 percent or urban ones.
When it comes to household incomes of $100,000 or more, 84 percent of those rural households use the internet, compared to 86 percent of urban households, Marema writes. "For rural residents earning $25,000 to less than $50,000 a year, that gap was 4 points (66 percent vs. 70 percent)."

"The analysis also showed that rural-urban digital divide was especially pronounced for whites and blacks, while Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans had a smaller gap," Marema writes. "Whites and blacks in rural areas were 10 percentage points lower than their urban counterparts in internet access. The rural-urban gap ranged from 2 to 5 points for people whose ethnic origins were Asian, Hispanic, or Native America." (Read more)

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