Internet Access

How are we doing? 

Percent of People Living in a Household with Broadband (2016)

In 2016, the percentage of people living in a household with broadband internet access was 89.2% in the Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), placing it fifth among 12 comparable MSAs. Albuquerque was last with 81.8%, while Colorado Springs, at 93.3%, had the highest percentage of residents with broadband internet access at home. In 2016, of the U.S. households that had Internet access, 85.2% used broadband.       

Why is it important?  

In the span of a generation, home computers and Internet access have gone from novelties to necessities. Technology is now an integral part of our everyday lives. It is pervasive throughout how we do business and how we interact with businesses (such as online banking), as well as each other (such as social media). While the majority of U.S. households have online access through Internet/broadband services, there are still those who do not – for reasons of availability, cost, or personal preference. The use of smart phones and tablets has supplemented, and in some cases, usurped the home computer. The availability of individuals to access online resources will be an important consideration going forward.

How do we compare?

Tucson, at 89.2% had the highest percentage of people living in a household with broadband internet access when compared to the nation or the state of Arizona in 2016. The nation was 4.0 percentage points behind at 85.2% followed closely by the state of Arizona at 85.7%.  

In 2016, Tucson had the highest percentage of people living in a household with broadband internet access and the lowest percentage of people living without a computer. Tucson had essentially no one using dial-up internet in 2016, while the U.S. rate was 0.3%. Tucson had the lowest percentage of people living in a household without a computer at 5.6%, while the U.S. and Arizona had 6.9% and 6.5% respectively. 

Asians and those that are white, non-Hispanic had the highest percentage of people living in a household with broadband internet access in the Tucson MSA, Arizona, and the U.S. during 2016. Broadband internet access for American Indian and Alaska Natives in Tucson (68.3%) closely matched that of the U.S. (71.4%) while Arizona (53.9%) fell short of the U.S. value.

Tucson, at 94.4%, had the highest percentage of people living in a household with a computer when compared to Arizona and the U.S. in 2016. The U.S. fell more than a percentage point behind at 93.1%, while Arizona followed closely at 93.5%. This represents computers, tablets, and smartphones.

How is it measured?

Computer and internet access data come from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The American Community Survey (ACS) began asking computer and internet access questions in 2013. The ACS is a nationwide rolling sample survey that produces one-year, and five-year estimates on demographic, social, housing, and economic measures. All data provided in this analysis utilized one-year estimates. Computer and internet access data only became available in 2014 for the states, metropolitan areas, and Arizona counties with populations great than 65,000. As the five-year estimates become available data for the smaller Arizona counties will be included.