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2017 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates

The interactive maps below are based on new Census data released on December 6, 2018 as part of the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates.

For the first time, the 2017 ACS includes computer ownership and internet access information for local Census tracts. (Note: The Census uses the term “internet access” to refer to actual household connections, not just availability.) This information, presented in ACS Tables B28002 through B28011, was previously released only for communities of 20,000 or more and only on a community-wide basis. (NDIA’s Worst Connected Cities reports are based on this ACS citywide data.)

Now that the Census has made its tract-level household internet data public, small communities, city neighborhoods, rural and tribal areas can all get a much better picture of broadband access and adoption among their residents.

The maps: To help communities across the country take advantage of this new resource, NDIA has put together a series of Google Fusion maps, covering more than 65,000 occupied Census tracts in the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Because of Google Fusion Tables’ file size limits, we’ve divided the national map into three sections: Census tracts east of the Mississippi, west of the Mississippi, and (in a separate map) Alaska and Hawaii.

On these base maps, we’ve calculated and mapped two crucial data points from the ACS:

  1. What percentage of households in each Census tract had no home internet access at all in 2017 — not even mobile internet or dial-up connections?  (The higher this percentage is, the worse for digital inclusion!)
  2. What percentage of households in each Census tract had “Broadband such as cable, fiber optic or DSL” in 2017? (The higher this percentage is, the better for digital inclusion!)

Using the maps: To find the answer to either of these questions for the local area you’re interested in…

  1. Choose the high-level map — east, west or Alaska-Hawaii — for that topic. For a full-screen view, click on the icon in the top right corner of the map.
  2. Center the map over the area you want and zoom to an appropriate magnification. Tract boundaries, color codes and underlying map features will become clearer as you zoom closer.
  3. You should now be able see the patterns of internet access (and lack of it) reported by the Census for tracts in the state, city, community or region you’re interested in.
  4. Click your mouse in any Census tract to see the state, county, tract number and specific percentage of households in that tract with wireline broadband access or no Internet access. (If the last line in the information window gives the percentage as #DIV/0!, the ACS  shows no households in that Census tract.)

Census Tracts in Eastern United States

Percent of households with cable, fiber optic or DSL broadband service, 2017

Census Tracts in Eastern United States

Percent of households with no home Internet of any kind, 2017

Census tracts in Western United States (except AK and HI)

Percent of households with cable, fiber optic or DSL broadband service, 2017

Census tracts in Western United States (except AK and HI)

Percent of households with no home Internet of any kind, 2017

Census Tracts in Alaska and Hawaii

Percent of households with cable, fiber optic or DSL broadband service, 2017

Census Tracts in Alaska and Hawaii

Percent of households with no home Internet of any kind, 2017

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