Blacks Narrow the Racial Gap in High-Speed Internet Access in the Home

The Internet has become an essential research and learning tool of American education. But throughout the brief history of the information age, blacks have always lagged whites in access to this important resource. But there is good news that the racial gap in Internet access is closing.

A new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that the racial gap in access to broadband Internet service has narrowed significantly in the past year. The study found that 31 percent of African-American adults now have broadband Internet access at home. This is up from 14 percent in 2005.

Whites are still more likely than blacks to have high-speed connections. In 2006, 42 percent of white Americans had broadband Internet connections at home, 11 percentage points higher than the rate for blacks. But the racial gap was 17 percentage points in 2005.