Here’s what we thought about this week, the 10,246th in Mississippi state history:

Internet Coverage in Mississippi
Internet Coverage in Mississippi, via http://www.broadbandmap.gov/

Headline of the Week: “Mississippi ranks last in Internet usage; lack of rural access to blame”

The digital divide refers to the economic and cultural gap between those with internet access and those without. Mississippi has the highest rate of individuals who fall on the disconnected side of the divide, according to WLOX:

When it comes to Internet usage, experts say Mississippi ranks dead last and they say that’s largely because of a lack of access in rural areas…

Experts said until there is better Internet access, Mississippians will continue to be on the wrong side of the digital divide.

“It’s just general knowledge. The Internet can be used for many things from checking the weather to buying and selling stocks, going online and doing your online school work. So not having access to that really just leaves the state behind,” Collins said.

Jake dug into the stats behind Mississippi’s lagging internet adoption in this blog post. In 2011, the Census Bureau found that more than half of Mississippians had no home internet access, and 41 percent had no way to get online at all. Only two in 10 Mississippians were “highly connected” — internet both inside and outside the home on multiple devices. Mississippi’s “disconnectivity” can be explained by several factors:

  • Large rural population. Nationwide, internet adoption is 10 percentage points lower in rural areas than urban or suburban areas. Mississippi is one of four states with a majority of population living outside of communities with more than 2,500 residents.
  • Low per capita income. Households earning less than $30,000 a year are 30 percentage points less likely to have home internet access than those with incomes above $50,000. Mississippi’s median income is only $36,919, the lowest in the country.
  • Limited education.  People with college degrees are 32 points more likely to have home internet access than those with high school diplomas. Only 20.7 percent of Mississippians hold a college degree, the second lowest rate in the country.

All in all, if you’re reading this blog in Mississippi, consider yourself lucky.

Chart of the Week

Several media outlets reported that fast food CEOs make up to 1,200 more than their average employees — the largest pay disparity of any industry. That’s particularly relevant for Mississippi, which has the highest share of fast food cooks in the country:

From Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessible here: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes352011.htm.
From Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessible here,

Top Tweets

Little-Known Mississippi Fact

“The nation’s first black newspaper, The Atlanta Daily World, was founded by Mississippian, W. A. Scott.”

— via The Silicon Delta (@TheSiliconDelta)

………

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