The Issue

Device Ownership is the Heart of Digital Equity and the Gateway to Opportunity

Briding the digital divide logo

It’s time to be honest with ourselves. Digital equity is a civil rights issue. The injustices that the digital divide inflicts on people are worthy of outrage and an urgent, societal response is required.

What is Needed?

  • Working computers
  • Internet access
  • Digital literacy skills
  • Technical support
  • Device repair

Who is Most Affected?

  • Students
  • Older adults
  • Veterans
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Other marginalized populations

Technology gaps are pervasive and exist across the country. Closing these gaps requires detailed knowledge of the non-deviced and under-deviced households at the state and county levels. This interactive heat map provides a granular snapshot of the lack of household access to computers and can help identify both the challenges and the potential opportunities when undertaking digital inclusion efforts.

Explore the Technology Gap at the National, State or County Level

  • In the “Select Device Ownership” drop-down menu, choose which aspect of device ownership you wish to explore. The default, “No Computer,” illustrates the percentage and number of households without a computer.
  • To drill down to state-level data, click on a state. State-level device ownership data by household will appear within the top grey box and state-level demographic data by population will appear in the boxes on the right side of the visualization. For a preview of state-level data, simply hover over a state.
  • To drill down to county-level data, click on a state and then on a county. County-level device ownership data by household will appear within the top grey box and county-level demographic data by population will appear in the right boxes on the right side of the visualization. For a preview of county-level data, simply hover over a county.
  • To reset the map to the United States view, click on the back arrow at the top right hand corner of the map.

Three Key Issues

The digital divide is caused by a number of interwoven, systemic issues. While Digitunity’s work centers on all aspects of device ownership, access to robust and affordable internet and having the skills to use a computer productively are also essential.

Computers

Everyone needs a computer with up-to-date functionality and support.

1 <span>in</span> 3
1 in 3
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African Americans and Hispanics1 don’t have access to computers in their homes.2 1 14 million and 17 million, respectively2 American Community Survey, 2019
56.2 MILLION
56.2 MILLION
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new computers were sold in the U.S. in 2019*. What happened to the computers they replaced? There are enough computers for everyone in America, let’s get them to those who need them.* Statista
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Internet

Millions of people do not have access to the internet due to affordability or lack of physical connectivity.

21.2 MILLION
21.2 MILLION
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people in the US lack access to a high-speed connection to the internet, 16.8 million of which live in rural communities -- roughly the population of the state of New York*. Internet access is just as critical as plumbing or electricity and solutions must be found. * 2019 Federal Communications Commission
Broadband Deployment Report
27% <span>of older adults</span>
27% of older adults
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Digital Literacy

Everyone needs to know how to use a computer safely, and perform common tasks such as sending email, using websites, and utilizing common applications like spreadsheets and word processing.

52 MILLION
52 MILLION
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adults are not digitally literate, which was about 16 percent of U.S. population in 2019.** U.S. Dept. of Education
74%
74%
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of U.S. adults use a computer at work and 81% of U.S. adults use a computer in everyday life.** U.S. Dept. of Education
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Digitunity is leading a national strategy to end the technology gap.

Digital Opportunity Network

Stakeholders united by a shared purpose

Donation Facilitation

A second life for your used technology

Changing the Conversation

Building awareness and advocating for device ownership

How You Can Help

Together, we can solve this problem.

Financial Donations

Choose to make a difference in the effort to bridge the digital divide.

Computer Donations

Help get computers to those who need them.

Corporate Support

Engage your business and your team in this critical work.

News & Resources

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