Households in rural persistently poor counties were the least likely to have home internet in 2015-19, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.
The data released Wednesday shows more than three in ten households lack internet access at home. In comparison, only two in ten households in rural counties that were not persistently poor had no internet access at home.
A similar pattern was observed in urban areas, with two in ten households in persistently poor counties lacking home internet access. Only a little more than one in ten households in urban counties that were not persistently poor had no internet access at home.
For households with internet access at home, service was mainly through a subscription, which includes a range of access from dial-up to broadband to cellular data plans.
USDA says the gaps in at-home internet access and subscriptions suggest that households in persistently poor counties—and more specifically, households in rural persistently poor counties—had additional barriers to internet adoption.