Government sponsored studies done through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the US Census Bureau found several correlations between computer usage and these factors:


Statistics for Economic Class distinctions


Surveys show that income has a direct correlation to computer ownership. The US Census Bureau and the NTIA have shown similar findings of higher computer ownership percentage in homes with higher incomes.

Table 1: Percent of U.S. Households with a Computer By Income By Rural, Urban, and Central City Areas
Rural Urban Central CityTotal
Less than $10,000 4.58.17.66.7
$10,000-$14,999 7.09.19.38.5
$15,000-$19,99911.012.613.0 12.2
$20,000-$24,99915.715.916.3 16.0
$25,000-$34,99918.122.021.1 20.4
$35,000-$49,99932.734.934.7 34.1
$50,000-$74,99946.048.447.4 47.3
$75,000 or more59.664.463.1 62.3
Data from NTIA survey conducted in 1995

Lower income groups tend to have a lower percentage of computer access. From the survey done by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, computers were found in 6.7% of the homes with incomes of less than $10,000. This is compared to 62.3% of the homes with computers whose incomes are $75,000 or more.

Table 2: Numbers of Households With Computers By Income (in millions)
Income 1989 1993
Less than $15,000 2.54.7
$15,000 - $30,0007.2 9.2
$30,000 - $50,0009.715.7
$50,000 or more8.224.4
Data from US Census Bureau in 1993

Similar findings were made in the US Census Bureau’s report. They found that the average income of a household with a computer is $52,036 compared to an average income of $27,425 in homes without a computer.
Figure 1: Individuals Owning Computers vs Income

40.1 million individuals who owned computers had an income of $30,000 or more. Only 13.9 milllion individuals who owned computers had an income of less than $30,000.

Racial Differences in Access to Computers


Figures from the US Census Bureau's findings are listed on their homepage. The survey shows that for children ages 3-17, percentages of access to computer for whites is 35.8%, compared to 13% for blacks and 12.1% for hispanics. This margin is consistent with older age groups as well. For adults age 18 and above, the percentage of whites with access to computers is 35.8%. 13.8% of blacks and 12.9% of hispanics in the same age group had access to computers. These results are consistent with the 1995 NTIA survey.

Table 3: Percent of U.S. Households with a Computer by Race/Origin by Rural, Urban, and Central City Areas
Rural UrbanCentral CityTotal
White-non-Hispanic 24.630.329.4 28.1
Black-non-Hispanic6.411.810.49.5
Hispanic12.013.210.511.9
American Indian, Aleut, Eskimo-non-Hispanic15.323.725.5 21.5
Asian or Pacific Islander-non-Hispanic33.7 39.535.9 36.4
Other-non-Hispanic 11.833.727.2 24.2
Data from NTIA survey conducted in 1995.

The ethnic group with the highest percentage of individuals with access to computers was asians at 36.4%, followed by whites at 28.1%. On the other end of the spectrum are blacks with 9.5% and hispanics with 11.9% of individuals with access to computers.

Figure 2: Access to Computers Based on Race

Data from the NTIA survey conducted in 1995

The NTIA survey also found that only 40% of black children had access to computers in school, contrasted to 60% of white students who have access to computers.

Higher Education = More Computers


It is clear that higher education suggests that an individual has a higher income. From the US Census survey, we know that individuals who have more education are more likely to own computers.
Figure 3: Number of Individuals With Access to Computers vs Education

In the 1995 NTIA survey similar findings were made.

Table 4: Percent of U.S. Households with a Computer By Educational Attainment By Rural, Urban, and Central City Areas
Education Rural UrbanCentral City Total
Elementary: 0-8 years2.62.82.62.7
High School: 1-3 years 6.56.14.7 5.7
High School: 4 years16.515.3 12.214.7
College: 1-3 years32.729.927.530.0
College: 4 years + 51.250.747.049.6
Data from NTIA survey conducted in 1995.

Individuals who attended college accounted for 79.6 percent of those who had access to computers. This is compared to a paltry 23.1 percent of individuals who completed high school or had less education.