There is wide inequity in access to broadband internet across the state of Missouri. Rural areas in particular lack sufficient infrastructure to supply high-speed internet to residents as well as the business community. Lack of access is cited as a top concern in communities across the state, and the data provides evidence of the link between internet access and economic opportunity.
In the mid-1930s, access to electricity divided rural and urban populations. Ninety percent of homes in rural areas didn’t have electricity, and as a result, business boomed and homes were built in urban areas. Rural America was the last to reap the benefits of electricity. Today, with 53 percent of rural America lacking adequate broadband, internet access divides the country. A lack of affordable internet access is a reality for millions of Americans and impacts choices Americans make about where to locate their homes and businesses. 72 percent of American adults use the internet on a daily basis, and have come to rely on it the same way Americans learned to depend on electricity during the last century.
In today’s digital world, internet access is critical for educational attainment and economic opportunity. Broadband technology contributes to economic growth by providing more efficient business processes that increase productivity, assists with innovation, and helps businesses maximize their reach to people and products.
Although Missouri is the 38th most connected state in the nation, 22 percent of Missouri’s population still does not have broadband coverage. The following map allows you to explore the overlap between broadband internet coverage and employment opportunities.