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NTIA Celebrates 25 Years of Internet Use Survey Research

December 02, 2019 by by Diane Rinaldo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Acting NTIA Administrator

We’re excited to celebrate the quarter-century birthday of our partnership with the Census Bureau on a survey about consumer use of computers and the Internet! Last month, across all fifty states and the District of Columbia, Census interviewers talked to 52,000 households for this comprehensive survey, which collects data every two years on who goes online, what computing devices and technologies people use, and what challenges prevent some Americans from taking full advantage of the digital age.

The NTIA Internet Use Survey is unique among national household surveys in this field due to its combination of in-depth questions, a large sample size that enables demographic and state-by-state estimates, and use of Census Bureau expertise and resources.

The Census Bureau administers the NTIA Internet Use Survey as a supplement to its Current Population Survey (CPS), which serves as a source of some of our nation’s official labor force statistics, including the monthly national unemployment rate. The Census Bureau has been conducting the CPS every month since the 1940s. The CPS survey will help NTIA’s researchers gain insights on a range of demographic and labor force information in each of the surveyed households, in addition to the information yielded from the supplemental Internet Use Survey questions.

This latest NTIA Internet Use Survey is the 15th data collection commissioned by NTIA and administered by the Census Bureau. The questionnaire, which is identical to the one used for the previous survey two years ago, contains over 50 questions that that will help researchers understand the state of Internet adoption in 2019, while also shedding light on a number of contemporary issues in Internet policy. The questionnaire includes topics such as wearable devices, online privacy concerns, and reasons why some households lack home Internet service.

We look forward to analyzing the results of the latest survey when the results become available next year. For further information on our survey research, check out our Data Central portal, which includes a blog showcasing our latest findings, a Data Explorer visualization tool for tracking dozens of metrics across surveys, and a Research Center containing downloadable raw datasets, technical documentation, and sample code for use by the research community.

Interested in learning about the 2019 NTIA Internet Use Survey? Subscribe to the Data Central mailing list to be among the first to hear when results are published.