Dec 3, 2018

The many faces of the digital divide

We tend to think of a single "digital divide" separating the haves and have-nots in the online world, but inequality in the internet era takes on a vast number of forms.

Data: SurveyMonkey online poll conducted Nov. 27–29 among 3,308 U.S. adults. Total margin of error is ±2.5 percentage points; Poll methodology; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Economics and geography play the biggest role, with those in cities enjoying far greater connectivity than those in rural areas. Similarly, people with more wealth tend to have more and faster connections. While those are the two biggest factors, there are also differences across race, education and age.

The bottom line: Not all online access is equal. People in rural areas often have significantly fewer and slower options than their city-dwelling counterparts.

  • And while many low-income households in cities have some broadband access, it's far more likely to be limited to a cellphone, which is less versatile for doing homework and applying for jobs.

The big picture: Over the weekend, Axios took a deep dive into the many digital divides in America, looking at the debate over how much access kids should have to cellphones, iOS vs. Android, the impact of 5G and other issues.There's lots to dig into, but here are a couple of points that stand out to me...

  1. For all the talk about Silicon Valley executives keeping their kids away from smartphones, most of the country sees early access to technology as a key means of gaining the skills needed for the jobs of the future.
  2. Speaking of smartphones, those at the high end of the economic ladder have their choice of iPhone or Android, while those who can't afford several hundred dollars for their phone are likely to have only Android options. That means they are likely to see more ads and have less built-in privacy protection.

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Americans are moving less

Data: Census 2019 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Fewer than 10% of Americans moved to new places in the 2018-2019 year, the lowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking domestic relocations in 1947.

Why it matters: Despite a strong economy, more people are feeling locked in place. Young adults, who have historically been the most mobile, are staying put these days thanks to housing and job limitations. So are aging adults who are reluctant to (or can't afford to) make a move.

2024 lookahead poll: GOP voters eye Trump dynasty

Data: Online SurveyMonkey poll (Margin of error: ±2.5 percentage points). Chart: Axios Visuals

Ready to skip 2020 and go straight to 2024? In a SurveyMonkey poll for Axios, Republican voters chose children of President Trump — Don Jr. and Ivanka — as two of the top four picks for president in four years.

  • Why it matters: An early poll like this is largely a measure of name ID. But it's also a vivid illustration of just how strong Trump's brand is with the GOP.
Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 4, 2020

Top 4 Democrats statistically neck and neck in Iowa presidential poll

Biden and Warren participate at the sixth Democratic primary debate. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders has gained momentum to become the first choice among likely Iowa caucus-goers three weeks before the nation's first presidential contest, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have slowed in the latest poll from The Des Moines Register, Mediacom and CNN.

Why it matters: But taking the margin of error into account, the poll shows the Vermont senator in a statistical dead heat with Warren, Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020