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Measuring the Digital Divide in the United States: Race, Income, and Personal Computer Ownership

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Abstract:

This article demonstrates how the Lorenz Curve and the Gini coefficient can be used to measure inequalities in home personal computer (PC) ownership in the United States at the national, regional, and state levels. Our empirical investigation, based on supplemental data from the Current Population Survey of the U.S. Census, indicates that income inequalities are substantially smaller within white households owning a PC than African American households, at all geographic scales. While income inequalities among PC owners (households) have decreased between 1994 and 2001 in all regions and states, the magnitude of this inequality has declined more rapidly among whites compared to African Americans.

Keywords: Gini coefficient; Lorenz Curve; digital divide; income inequality; race

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0033-0124.2005.00486.x

Affiliations: University of South Florida

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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