Learn More: Computer & Internet Access

Metadata

Variable Definitions:
No Internet Access: The percentage of households in which no one in the household is able to use or connect to the internet at home. Types of internet include broadband, dial-up, or a data plan for a smart phone. 
Only Cellular Data Plan: The percentage of households in which the only form of internet access is a data plan for a smart phone.
No Computer Access: The percentage of households in which no one in the household owns or has access to a computer, including a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Only Smartphone: The percentage of households in which no one in the household owns or has access to a computer besides a smartphone.
Source:
American Community Survey, 5-Year Estimates, Table S2801
Years Available:
2013-17
Geographic Unit:
Census Tract

Why is this Variable Important to Measure?

Computer & Internet Access
Across the globe, access to a computer and internet connection is becoming increasingly important. In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council published a report stating that internet access is an important enabler of freedom of opinion, expression and progress of society as a whole. Internet and computers are playing an increasingly important role in schools and education, as well as for things like employment searches, emergency alerts, and news/information dissemination. 
The popularization of smartphones has helped to bring internet and computer access to a wider audience. However, while smartphones can help connect people socially and provide access to news and emergency alerts, they may be less helpful for educational and job seeking purposes.  According to 2017 American Community Survey estimates, approximately 21% of Americans do not have access to any type of internet, while an additional 8% only have access to a cellular data plan. 

Sources:
American Community Survey. 2017 Subject Definitions. Link
US Census Bureau. "Why We Ask Questions about Computer and Internet Access", 2016. Link.
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