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Expand chart
Note: Income inequality is shown using the Gini Index — a measure of income distribution among a population. A value of 0 represents absolute equality; a value of 1 absolute inequality. Data: 2017 American Community Survey; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The internet has become a fundamental requirement of modern life. For those with comfortable incomes, living in cities or suburbs, connectivity and information can seem ubiquitous.

Reality check: According to a 2017 report from the Brookings Institution, less than one-fifth of Americans live in a neighborhood where at least 80% of the residents have broadband.

  • Nearly 1 in 5 teens are sometimes unable to complete homework because they lack a reliable computer or internet connection.
  • Local news and information is becoming scarce and hard to access. More than 500 newspapers have closed or merged in rural communities since 2004.

What's happening: This situation is the result of two types of “digital divide” operating today:

  • A geographic divide — in which rural and other areas are underserved because it doesn’t make financial sense for companies to invest in infrastructure.
  • An economic divide — where infrastructure is in place, but lower-income families lack affordable access and devices.

These divides are colliding and combining in troubling ways — creating a whole spectrum of education, information and privacy inequality.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.