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Digital Divide Index (DDI)
The DDI is a county-level index score (from 0 to 100) measuring the digital divide. The higher the number, the larger the digital divide. The objective of the DDI is to serve as a descriptive and pragmatic tool for policymakers, community leaders, and residents. The DDI consists of two components: infrastructure/adoption and socioeconomic characteristics.
Three broadband infrastructure and adoption indicators were grouped for the infrastructure/adoption (INFA) component. Data was obtained from the FCC Form 477 and includes percent people without access to 25/3 fixed broadband, number of residential fixed broadband connections per 1,000 households, and average advertised upload/download speeds. A high INFA score implies investments need to be made regarding broadband infrastructure, including improving speeds.
The second component measures socioeconomic (SE) characteristics that are known to lag in technology adoption: percent age 65 and over, percent population 25 and over with less than high school, and (individual) poverty rate. These were included because counties with a higher SE score are at a higher risk of lagging in technology adoption requiring more digital literacy and technology relevance efforts, which also impact the digital divide along with broadband infrastructure and adoption.
The overall digital divide index (DDI) was calculated adding up the INFA and SE components. For more information, download the full report.
SE, INFA and DDI scores per state are available in the table below. Click on state name to download the spreadsheet.