What's more, even when controlling for key socio-economic characteristics, the U.S. continues to confront a racial gap in residential broadband use, with non-Hispanic white Americans and Asian-Americans more likely to go online using a high-speed connection than African-Americans and Hispanics.
Those are some of the key conclusions of a new analysis of census data released Monday by the Commerce Department.
It found that the percentage of households that connect to the Internet using broadband grew to 63.5 percent in 2009 from 9.2 percent in 2001, reflecting increases across nearly all demographics.
The report prepared by the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, and the Economics and Statistics Administration is based on a census survey of about 54,000 households conducted in October 2009.
The new study provides some of the deepest analysis yet of broadband usage trends in the United States. And it is likely to help guide Congress and the Federal Communications Commission as they develop policies to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable high-speed Internet service.
The analysis, said Lawrence Strickling, head of the NTIA, shows that "there is no single solution" to make this happen.
Among the major findings:
• 94.1 percent of households with income exceeding $100,000 subscribed to broadband in 2009, compared with 35.8 percent of households with income of less than $25,000.
• 84.5 percent of households with at least one college degree subscribed to broadband last year, compared with 28.8 percent of households without a high school degree.
• 77.3 percent of Asian-American households and 68 percent of non-Hispanic white households subscribed to broadband last year, compared with 49.4 percent of African-American households and 47.9 percent of Hispanic households.(2 of 2)
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