Black American Households Are Less Likely to Own a Computer Than Other Racial Groups

The United States Census Bureau has released a new report analyzing the demographic differences in computer use and internet access among United States citizens in 2021. According to the report, Black Americans are the least likely racial group to have personal access to these important resources.

The study found that in 2021, 95 percent of all American households owned at least some type of a computer, either a desktop or laptop, a smartphone, or a tablet. Black Americans were below the national average in this category at 93.2 percent, making them the least likely racial group to have personal computer access. Additionally, this disparity was particularly found among desktop and laptop ownership. Only 71.7 percent of Black households owned a desktop or laptop in 2021, compared to 74.8 percent of Hispanic Americans, 82.7 percent of White Americans, and 89.7 percent of Asian Americans.

Black Americans were also the least likely group to own a smartphone or a tablet. However, Black households were the most likely group to be a “smartphone-only” household, with about 14 percent of all Black households falling into this category, compared to roughly 10 percent of White households and 9 percent of Asian households. Notably, mobile-broadband internet access can be considerably less reliable than that of desktop or laptop computers, suggesting Black Americans are particularly disadvantaged in access to a reliable internet connection.

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