Today at work I wrote a quick blog post about a new U.S. Census Bureau report on Internet use in America. The report suggested that smartphones were helping decrease the digital divide of access to the Web among blacks and Hispanics.
The U.S. Census Bureau survey was the first time the agency asked respondents about whether they used smartphones to go online, allowing a comparison of each racial and ethnic group’s overall digital activity. The bureau said that whites and Asians were more likely to have access to a home Internet connection.
Asians, for example, reported home Internet rates that were 27 percentage points higher than Hispanics. That rate disparity dropped to 18 percentage points with smartphone and home use combined.
Close to half of all Americans use a smart phone to connect to the Internet, and that rate remains similar across all groups: Asians (51.6%), non-Hispanic whites (48.6%), blacks (47.3%), Hispanics (45.4%).
The report also examined smartphone use by geography, with some interesting results:
While many states in the Southeastern and Northeastern parts of the country (along with certain areas in the Midwest) had smartphone usage below the national average of 48.2 percent, the vast majority of states west of the Mississippi River had smartphone usage rates either statistically higher or not statistically different from the national average.