State makes Internet access gains

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – More Mississippians than ever can surf the web from home, but the state still ranks among the nation’s lowest for household Internet access, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The nation’s Computer and Internet Use study showed that in 2010, the latest figures available, 64.3 percent of Mississippi residents ages 3 and older could get online at home.
That’s up 7.7 percentage points from the previous year and 11.5 points from 2007. The state had ranked dead last in the nation both years for its percentage of residents with home Internet access.
This time it ranked No. 49, behind New Mexico.
Mississippi also has narrowed its gap with the rest of the country, the study showed. Five years ago, the state trailed the national average by 14.3 percentage points. That figure shrank to 11.6 percentage points in the most recent year.
Nationally, 75.9 percent of Americans have Internet access in the home.
The study also revealed that the more educated and higher incomes they earn, the more likely adults are to have Internet at home – nearly 91 percent for those with bachelor’s degrees compared to about 43 percent for those without high school diplomas.

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