Internet Use and Online Activities in U.S. States: Geographic Disparities and Socio-economic Influences

Pick, James
Sarkar, Avijit
Parrish, Elizabeth
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Attention in the digital divide research agenda is shifting gradually from material access of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to actual use of ICTs. As internet usage increases worldwide and online activities concomitantly expand in range and sophistication, it becomes essential to examine patterns and disparities of such usage. This paper examines geographic patterns and disparities along with influences of demographic, economic, and social factors on internet use in U.S. states. Our conceptual model of internet use posits associations of 21 traditional (socio-economic) as well as non-traditional independent variables (social capital, societal openness, innovation, infrastructure, and affordability) with dependent indicators of e-communication, e-commerce, e-education, e-entertainment, e-health, and telework. Age, race/ethnicity, innovation, urban location, managerial and scientific occupations, and social capital are found to predominantly influence internet use spanning a range of online activities. Policy implications of these findings are discussed taking cognizance of geographic disparities in internet use among the fifty states.
The Diffusions, Impacts, Adoption and Usage of ICTs upon Society, Digital Divide, Purposeful Internet Use, Social Capital, Spatial Autocorrelation, Regression
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