Digital divide leaves millions isolated during coronavirus panic


While much of the U.S. hunkers down to work and shop online, large swaths of the country are trying to cope without an internet connection, leaving millions of households cut off from vital services and information during the pandemic.

Here’s what the digital divide looks like across the U.S. In counties with the deepest shade of orange, half of households don’t have access to the Internet.

Before the COVID-19 coronavirus hit the U.S., only about 7% of American workers had access to a “flexible workplace” benefit, where their employers allowed or encouraged them to work remotely, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those jobs tend to pay well, which helps explain why access to telework varies sharply by income, according to the Pew Research Center. Only 1% of private-sector workers with average hourly wages of less than $13.25 have access to telework.


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