Broadband use with immigrants is increasing

NTIA just released a report on American’s Hispanic and immigrant use of broadband. The good news is that usage is increasing – as the chart below shows…

But I found at least if not more interesting is that use with immigrant populations is increasing…

In a previous analysis of the challenges faced by Hispanic Americans, NTIA found that language barriers and immigration patterns were associated with lower rates of Internet use. But while immigrants continued to be less likely to go online than their U.S.-born peers in 2017, the differences appear to be shrinking. Internet use among non-U.S. citizens jumped by 11 percentage points between 2013 and 2017, from 62 percent to 73 percent, and adoption among naturalized citizens climbed from 68 percent to 75 percent during this period.

And use with second generation is even better…

New NTIA analysis shows that persons born in the U.S. to immigrant parents were nearly as likely to use the Internet as those with two U.S.-born parents. While 74 percent of immigrants used the Internet in 2017, 77 percent of U.S.-born persons with at least one immigrant parent did so, compared with 78 percent of those born to two U.S.-born parents. The similarity in Internet usage rates between U.S.-born persons with immigrant parents and those with U.S.-born parents is consistent across age groups (see Figure 2).

I understand the language barrier and for many immigrants cost is an issue. But the benefits of broadband must be even greater when it’s likely a bridge back to your home and family. And of course with broadband use comes benefits in terms of remote access to education, jobs and information. I’m glad to see the rates rising.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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