Closing the Digital Divide

Teens believe internet access is critical for equality.

Bridging the Gap

​A new survey by National 4-H Council, the Harris Poll and the 4-H Tech Changemakers coalition found that teens believe unreliable broadband access contributes to economic and social inequities, perceptions of reduced career prospects, significantly lower digital literacy and less confidence in their future success.

See How the Digital Divide Affects the Nation's Youth

Download the 2019 Report

For more studies on the teen perspective on everything from mental health to racial injustice, check out our Research page.

TCM Survey Overview

Not-So-Fast Facts

Teens reveal the drastic impact that slow internet speeds have on opportunities for success in their classes, careers and communities and urge the government to pick up the pace toward universal broadband access.

 

Key Findings​

  • 73% of teens agree that “Digital skills will be the key to getting the best jobs for my generation.”​
  • 1 in 10 American teens do not have access to broadband internet (1 in 6 in rural communities).​
  • Broadband access dropped 7% at both homes and schools since 2019.​

 

Direct Impact on Teens​

  • Only 37% of teens with an unreliable connection feel that high-quality, K-12 education is within reach for their community.​
  • Only 38% of teens with unreliable connections feel their community has access to a wide variety of job opportunities.​
  • 89% of teens say their need for high-speed Internet access at home has increased or stayed the same in the last 18 months.​

 

Long Term Impacts​

  • Ultimately, teens see broadband availability as a barrier to staying in their community long term (25% unreliable internet, 14% reliable internet). ​
  • Confidence to succeed in life is down 9% since 2019 (down 12% for those with unreliable internet).
4-H Digital Divide Survey Stats 3
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