Home Broadband Adoption: Internet Access Variation by Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.

African American and Hispanic adults in the United States remain less likely than white adults to say they own a traditional computer or have high-speed internet at home, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted between January 25th to February 8th, 2021. But there are no racial and ethnic differences when it comes to other devices, sucha sa smartphones and tablets. 8 in 10 white adults report owning a desktop or laptop computer, compared with 69% of black adults and 67% of Hispanic adults. 8 in 10 white adults also report having access to broadband connections at home, while smaller shares of black and Hispanic adults say the same–71% and 65 respectively. These gaps have been present across several Center surveys.

By contrast, there are no statistically significant racial or ethnic differences when it comes to smartphone or tablet ownership. Roughly 8 in 10 or more white, black or Hispanic adults say that they have a tablet. Similar shares of Americans with different racial or ethnic backgrounds report having ALL of the technologies included in the survey. Around 4 in 10 white (42%) and Black adults (40%) say they have a smartphone, broadband at home, a desktop or laptop computer AND a tablet. Some 35% of Hispanic adults report the same, but this share does not differ from their black or white counterparts.

When oit comes to accessing the internet, mobile devices play a larger role for Hispanic adults compared with white adults. A quarter of Hispanics are “smartphone-only” internet users–meaning that they own a smartphone but lack traditional broadband services. By comparison, 12% of white adul;ts fall into this category. Among black adults, 17% are smartphone dependent, but this share is not different from their white or Hispanic counterparts.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: