U.S. Broadband Adoption Thrives Among African Americans, Slows Overall

Following several consecutive years of double-digit growth, broadband adoption among U.S. adults slowed dramatically in the past year, according to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The report – based on survey responses from 2,200 adults submitted during April and May – found that 66 percent of American adults currently access the Internet via a high-speed home connection. That represents just 5 percent growth compared with the 63 percent that reported doing so in 2009, and a significant slowing in the rate of adoption compared with the 15 percent increase witnessed between 2008 and 2009.

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However, growth in adoption among African-American users far outpaced the national average, and all other demographic groups. The report found that 56 percent of African Americans now use a broadband connection, representing a 22 percent year-over-year increase compared with the 46 percent that reported doing so in 2009.

That data suggests a substantial portion of the three percent national growth could therefore have been driven by adoption by African-American users. Pew suggests the broadband adoption gap between African-Americans and white Americans has almost halved in the past year, now representing an 11 percentage point gap between the two, which stand at 56 percent adoption and 67 percent adoption, respectively.

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