Access to information is extremely important in today’s society. Those that have it are better able to compete in the job market or in gaining access to higher education. But new data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that there is a persistent racial digital divide.
In 2011, 56.9 percent of all African American households had Internet access. But for Whites, 76.2 percent of all households had Internet access. This is a huge racial gap of nearly 20 percentage points.
The data shows that 68.3 percent of African Americans lived in a household that had at least one computer. But 84.8 percent of non-Hispanic Whites lived in a household with one computer. Just over 60 percent of African Americans over the age of 3 had Internet access from some location, home, work, or smartphone. For non-Hispanic Whites the figure was 75 percent.
The survey found that just under half of both Black and Whites over the age of 15 used smartphones.