Digital Divide in the US
The digital divide is the most critical issue of the 21st century – so this report sets out to talk about why it’s so critical and how we can close the divide. Why do we need to close the digital divide?
- Job and establishment growth between 2010 and 2015 was substantially lower in counties with the highest digital divide; establishments with paid employees declined in counties with the highest digital divide while establishments with no employees barely grew.
- Digital economy industries—one of the fastest growing group of industries in the nation—and associated jobs increased overall and across all Digital Divide Index (DDI) quartiles between 2010 and 2015.
- Digital economy establishments—of which 57 percent were nonemployers—increased in the nation and across all digital divide categories. In fact, the largest percent change in digital economy establishments between 2010 and 2015 took place in counties with the highest digital divide.
- Economic and community development efforts need to be refined to target and support digital economy entrepreneurs that are emerging throughout the nation. Robust strategies should not only focus on updating broadband infrastructure, but also on increasing awareness and digital literacy knowledge to effectively leverage and maximize these technologies.
- Collaboration among key local and regional assets—schools, libraries, nonprofits, Extension Services, local economic development organizations, regional planning commissions, think tanks, faith-based among others—should be strengthened. This will ensure that local and regional resources will be working in tandem to tackle the digital divide problem in high need areas of the country.
Digital Divide in the U.S.