The percentage of households that do not have access to high speed internet in the City of St. Louis
Black households are more than twice as likely as white households to lack access to high speed internet.
A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
For Internet Access, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — would mean black and white residents are equally likely to not have access to broadband internet at home. It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal: we also want to improve outcomes for all.
What does this indicator measure?
Internet Access measures the percentage of households that do not have access to high speed internet in the City of St. Louis. High speed internet service includes cable, fiber optic, or DSL service. This indicator does not account for cell phone-based internet access. In 2016, there were 51,859 households without access to high speed internet, which represents 37.3% of households.
Internet Access Analysis
Households without access to high speed internet in St. Louis City.
|All||Black||White||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|Households without access to high speed internet||51,859||32,794||15,477||-||-|
|Percent of households without access to high speed internet||37.3%||55.5%||22.4%||2.477 to 1||37|
Data Source: American Community Survey 1-year PUMS, 2016.
Data Note: PUMS data may differ slightly from estimates on American FactFinder due to differences in sampling. See PUMS technical documentation for more information.
What does this analysis mean?
Black households are more than twice as likely as white households to be without access to high speed internet at home. Black households are the most likely to be without access to high speed internet (55%), followed by Hispanic households (44%). Asian households are the least likely to be without high speed internet (19%), followed by white households (22%). If internet access were equitable, there would be 19,552 fewer black households without high speed internet.
Why does Internet Access matter?
Internet Access is increasingly required to participate fully in public life. As the Roosevelt Institute summarized in a recent report on equitable broadband, "From applying for jobs to doing homework, access to fast, reliable internet is crucial to making the most of opportunities in today’s world." An increasing number of government services are being made more accessible through online platforms. Many of the benefits of these modernizations are only available to those with internet access, leading to a growing "digital divide."
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are linked with this indicator?
While the Ferguson Commission report does not directly address internet access, it recommends that services be offered online, such as SNAP/WIC enrollment.
Questions for further investigation
- Why is there racial disparity in Internet Access?
- What can St. Louis do to reduce racial disparities in Internet Access?
- What initiatives are currently underway to reduce racial disparities in Internet Access?
How can I learn more about this issue?
The Roosevelt Institute and the New School discuss the challenges and potential solutions to achieving equitable access to broadband in their report Wired: Connecting Equity to a Universal Broadband Strategy.