Community-based organizations often use phone and internet outreach to reach low-income seniors who may be missing out on benefits for which they are eligible. However, a substantial proportion of low-income seniors lack access to the internet in particular, either because they do not own a computer, do not know how to use a computer, or do not purchase an internet subscription.

This visualization can help organizations gauge how effective such outreach may be in their target area. In addition, community-based organizations such as senior centers may find it useful for understanding and adapting to the technological needs of their communities, e.g., hosting a computer lab.

Using this tool

  • The first tab, computer access, estimates the proportion of these households who did not have access to a computing device of any type at home – a laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet, and so on.
  • The second tab, Internet access, estimates the proportion of these households that did not access the internet in 2013.
  • The third tab, phone access, estimates the proportion of these households that did not have access to any sort of phone in 2013.
  • The fourth tab, handheld device access, estimates the proportion of these households that did not have access to a handheld computing device such as a smartphone or tablet in 2013.

Unfortunately, limitations in the sample (described in more detail below) require analysis to be limited to Congressional Districts, which are often quite large geographical regions.