States With the Highest and Lowest Internet Connectivity

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Black man working on a laptop
Monkey Business Images /

Being online is more than just Facebook and cat videos. Access to the internet has become increasingly critical for work, education, public safety and law enforcement, health care, personal finance, social services and staying in touch with family and friends.

Yet not everyone has the same opportunities. A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that high-income states generally have high levels of broadband internet connectivity.

But not always. In a press release about the report, demographer Camille Ryan notes that “some places don’t fit the pattern because demographic and social differences also come into play.”

For example, the District of Columbia is full of high earners and the household income in Idaho is less than the national average. Yet broadband subscription rates in these places (76.8 and 76.7 percent, respectively) were close to the national average of 77 percent.

And the most-connected state might surprise you. (Hint: It isn’t California or New York.)

More than 6 in 10 (62 percent) of U.S. households have what researchers call “high connectivity,” which means they have both computers and hand-held devices along with internet access. Asians are most likely (80 percent) to be highly connected, compared with whites (65 percent) and Hispanics (55 percent).

Lower-income households had the lowest connectivity overall — no surprises there — and were also more likely to connect with smartphones or tablets only.

Does your state rank in the top or bottom 10? Read on and find out. We’ll start with the 10 most-connected states, from low to high.

10. Maryland: 81.4 percent connectivity rate

Annapolis Maryland
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Population: 6,016,447

Median household income: $74,551

9. New Jersey: 81.6 percent

New Jersey Turnpike
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Population: 8,944,469

Median household income: $72,093

8. Alaska: 81.7 percent

Anchorage, Alaska skyline against mountains
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Population: 741,894

Median household income: $72,515

7. Connecticut: 82 percent

Hartford, Connecticut
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Population: 3,576,452

Median household income: $70,331

6. Hawaii: 82.2 percent

Man on hammock on beach using laptop
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Population: 1,428,557

Median household income: $69,515

5. Massachusetts: 82.6 percent

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Population: 6,811,779

Median household income: $68,563

4. Colorado: 83 percent

Denver, Colorado
EdgeofReason /

Population: 5,540,545

Median household income: $60,629

3. Utah: 83.1 percent

Salt Lake City, Utah
Joe Guetzloff /

Population: 3,051,217

Median household income: $60,727

2. Washington: 83.9 percent

Seattle, Washington
dibrova /

Population: 7,288,000

Median household income: $61,062

1. New Hampshire: 84.5 percent

Nashua, New Hampshire
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Population: 1,334,795

Median household income: $66,779

And now for the least-connected states, from low to lowest:

10. Kentucky: 70.9 percent

Churchill downs entrance, Louisville, Kentucky
Thomas Kelley /

Population: 4,436,974

Median household income: $43,740

9. Oklahoma: 70.8 percent

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Population: 3,923,561

Median household income: $46,879

8. Tennessee: 70.2 percent

Street scene, Memphis, Tennessee.
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Population: 6,651,194

Median household income: $45,219

7. South Carolina: 69.9 percent

Charleston, South Caroline historical district
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Population: 4,961,119

Median household income: $45,483

6. West Virginia: 69.8 percent

David Byron Keener /

Population: 1,831,102

Median household income: $41,751

5. Louisiana: 68.7 percent

Alligator resting on a dock.
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Population: 4,681,666

Median household income: $45,047

4. Alabama: 68.3 percent

City scene from Mobile, Alabama
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Population: 4,863,300

Median household income: $43,623

3. New Mexico: 67.2 percent

Santa Fe, New Mexico gallery area.
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Population: 2,081,015

Median household income: $44,963

2. Arkansas: 64.2 percent

Capitol building in Little Rock, Arkansas
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Population: 2,988,248

Median household income: $41,371

1. Mississippi: 61 percent

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Population: 2,988,726

Median household income: $39,665

How well-connected is your state? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page!

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