Place and Inequality: Urban, Suburban, and Rural America

Karen Mossberger, Caroline J. Tolbert, William Franko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The stimulus programs have focused attention on rural disparities in broadband, but this chapter offers a broader overview, comparing Internet use anywhere and home broadband adoption for urban, suburban, and rural residents. Using the 2009 Current Population Survey and Federal Communications Commission survey, this chapter explores the data that informed federal policymaking at the launch of the stimulus efforts and the National Broadband Plan. Multivariate analysis offers a rigorous examination of the factors related to Internet use and broadband adoption, but the results are presented with graphs and estimates that require no statistical knowledge. The analysis shows that urban Latinos are the most technologically disadvantaged group, and that social inequality is the most important determinant of broadband adoption in both rural and urban areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDigital Cities
Subtitle of host publicationThe Internet and the Geography of Opportunity
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199979769
ISBN (Print)9780199812936
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Broadband
  • Inequality
  • Internet
  • Metropolitan areas
  • Rural
  • Suburban
  • Technology
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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