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
Median household income: $74,551
9. New Jersey: 81.6 percent
Median household income: $72,093
8. Alaska: 81.7 percent
Median household income: $72,515
7. Connecticut: 82 percent
Median household income: $70,331
6. Hawaii: 82.2 percent
Median household income: $69,515
5. Massachusetts: 82.6 percent
Median household income: $68,563
4. Colorado: 83 percent
Median household income: $60,629
3. Utah: 83.1 percent
Median household income: $60,727
2. Washington: 83.9 percent
Median household income: $61,062
1. New Hampshire: 84.5 percent
Median household income: $66,779
And now for the least-connected states, from low to lowest:
10. Kentucky: 70.9 percent
Median household income: $43,740
9. Oklahoma: 70.8 percent
Median household income: $46,879
8. Tennessee: 70.2 percent
Median household income: $45,219
7. South Carolina: 69.9 percent
Median household income: $45,483
6. West Virginia: 69.8 percent
Median household income: $41,751
5. Louisiana: 68.7 percent
Median household income: $45,047
4. Alabama: 68.3 percent
Median household income: $43,623
3. New Mexico: 67.2 percent
Median household income: $44,963
2. Arkansas: 64.2 percent
Median household income: $41,371
1. Mississippi: 61 percent
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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