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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.

County Digital Divide Index

Map shows four equal groups (about 770 each) of counties based on their 2015 DDI score. Counties in red indicate a higher digital divide while counties in blue indicate a lower digital divide. Dark blue indicates counties with the lowest digital divide while dark red indicates counties with the highest digital divide. Click on any county to see more information.


Census-Tract Level

Map shows four equal groups (about 18,000 each) of Census tracts based on their 2015 DDI score. Darker red indicates a higher digital divide while darker blue indicates a lower digital divide. DDI was calculated using the same methodology as the county-level DDI (download full report). Please note you may have to zoom in for tracts to appear. Click on any tract to see more information.