In survey data collected in 2003, The Project found that
suburban and urban residents remain more likely to use the Internet.
- 67% of urban residents use the Internet.
- 66% of suburban residents use the Internet.
- 52% of rural residents use the Internet.
Some differences in Internet adoption between rural areas and other locales are related to low-income households in rural areas, the report concludes. Living in a rural area in itself has little or no influence as to whether one goes online. While low-income residents of rural areas are less likely to be online than low-income people living in urban or suburban areas, middle and upper income people in both rural and other areas are equally likely to be Internet users.
Some of the gap between rural areas and the rest of the country can also be explained by other demographic realities such as the fact that rural residents as a group are older and have lesser levels of education than those in urban and suburban areas. Senior 65 and older account for 22% of the rural population compared to 14% of the the urban and 16% of the suburban populations In rural areas. Only about 17% of rural seniors go online, making up about 6% of rural Internet users. Meanwhile, rural areas hold comparatively fewer young adults, the most likely age group to go online. The age of the rural population may be one major reason why penetration rates are lower in rural communities.
In terms of typical online use, rural users:
More information in the report can be found here.