A Smaller But Still Significant Racial Gap in Home Computer Use

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows a persistent racial gap in household computer and internet use. The racial gap has declined significantly since home computers and access to the Internet have become commonplace. But a significant racial gap remains.

In 2015, 88 percent of non-Hispanic White households had a computer in the home. For Blacks, only 80.1 percent of all households had a home computer. Thus, nearly one in five Black households did not have a home computer. Some 81.7 percent of White households had a desktop or laptop computer compared to 65.1 percent of Black households.

In 2015, 79.9 percent of all White households had a contract to provide Internet access. For Blacks, 64.9 percent had a subscription to an Internet service. For both Blacks and Whites, almost all of the Internet contracts were for broadband service.

Previous research has shown than African Americans are more likely than Whites to use smartphones and in many cases this is their only access point to the Internet. But computer internet access in the home is viewed as more beneficial for studying, completing homework, applying for jobs, and searching for the right college or university to attend.

The full report, Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2015, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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