States With the Highest and Lowest Internet Connectivity

Black man working on a laptop
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

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
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Population: 6,016,447

Median household income: $74,551

9. New Jersey: 81.6 percent

T photography / Shutterstock.com

Population: 8,944,469

Median household income: $72,093

8. Alaska: 81.7 percent

Anchorage, Alaska skyline against mountains
Rocky Grimes / Shutterstock.com

Population: 741,894

Median household income: $72,515

7. Connecticut: 82 percent

Hartford, Connecticut
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Population: 3,576,452

Median household income: $70,331

6. Hawaii: 82.2 percent

Man on hammock on beach using laptop
Pavel Ilyukhin / Shutterstock.com

Population: 1,428,557

Median household income: $69,515

5. Massachusetts: 82.6 percent

Downtown Boston, Massachusetts
Rsphotograph / Shutterstock.com

Population: 6,811,779

Median household income: $68,563

4. Colorado: 83 percent

Denver, Colorado
EdgeofReason / Shutterstock.com

Population: 5,540,545

Median household income: $60,629

3. Utah: 83.1 percent

Salt Lake City, Utah
Joe Guetzloff / Shutterstock.com

Population: 3,051,217

Median household income: $60,727

2. Washington: 83.9 percent

dibrova / Shutterstock.com

Population: 7,288,000

Median household income: $61,062

1. New Hampshire: 84.5 percent

Nashua, New Hampshire
Jon Bilou / Shutterstock.com

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 / Shutterstock.com

Population: 4,436,974

Median household income: $43,740

9. Oklahoma: 70.8 percent

RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

Population: 3,923,561

Median household income: $46,879

8. Tennessee: 70.2 percent

Street scene, Memphis, Tennessee.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Population: 6,651,194

Median household income: $45,219

7. South Carolina: 69.9 percent

Charleston, South Caroline historical district
Bf11photo / Shutterstock.com

Population: 4,961,119

Median household income: $45,483

6. West Virginia: 69.8 percent

David Byron Keener / Shutterstock.com

Population: 1,831,102

Median household income: $41,751

5. Louisiana: 68.7 percent

Alligator resting on a dock.
Terry Poche / Shutterstock.com

Population: 4,681,666

Median household income: $45,047

4. Alabama: 68.3 percent

City scene from Mobile, Alabama
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com

Population: 4,863,300

Median household income: $43,623

3. New Mexico: 67.2 percent

Santa Fe, New Mexico gallery area.
Baiterek Media / Shutterstock.com

Population: 2,081,015

Median household income: $44,963

2. Arkansas: 64.2 percent

Capitol building in Little Rock, Arkansas
W. Scott McGill / Shutterstock.com

Population: 2,988,248

Median household income: $41,371

1. Mississippi: 61 percent

RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

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!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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