Worst-Connected U.S. Cities in 2014

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance today releases two new rankings of America's "25 Worst-Connected Cities in 2014" -- for all households, and for households with annual incomes below $35,000.

Using data from the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) released last Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, NDIA ranked all 184 U.S. cities with more than 50,000 households by their percentages of households with no Internet at home. The ACS provides this data in Tables B28002 ("Presence and types of Internet subscriptions in household") and B28004 (Household income in the last 12 months... by presence and types of Internet subscriptions in household"). 

The 25 Worst-Connected Cities in terms of overall household Internet coverage range from Brownsville, Texas (45% of households with no Internet access) to Providence, Rhode Island (29%). Immediately below Brownsville on the list are Detroit, Jackson (MS), Laredo and Hialeah -- all with overall non-connection rates above 35%.

Brownsville, Laredo and Detroit also lead the Worst-Connected list for households with incomes below $35,000 -- each with more than 60% of its lower-income homes lacking Internet subscriptions.

Other cities on both lists include Dallas, New Orleans, Miami, Cleveland, Buffalo, Memphis and St. Louis, among others.

NDIA Director, Angela Siefer explains, "We draw attention to the worst-connected cities to help those cities attract the resources necessary to improve broadband access and use. Such high percentages of non-connected households impacts the whole community. Local government, schools, libraries, hospitals, businesses and social service organization all incur higher costs to reach community members who are not online. We point out the starkly reduced connectivity levels of our poorest neighbors in order to clarify the fact that poverty is a factor we cannot ignore in our work to reduce the digital divide." 

The new ACS data for 184 cities and their rankings are available in this spreadsheet

And here's a handy map...