Economic Snapshot | Education

Computers and race—The haves and the have nots

A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshotfor December 6, 2000.

Computers and race — The haves and the have nots

In 1998, 42% of all households owned a personal computer. But the rapid growth in computer ownership since the early 1980s has been uneven, and the gap in computer ownership along race lines appears to have grown markedly in the 1990s. In many respects, the patterns of computer ownership in 1998 and trends over the 1980s and 1990s appear to mirror inequalities that pre-dated the era of the personal computer. To the extent that access to computers affects children’s performance in school and, later, in work, the current inequities in the distribution of computer ownership could end up reinforcing the existing pattern of economic inequality in the future.

Percentage of households with a computer, by race, 1984-98 Percentage of households with a computer, by race, 1984-98

From The State of Working America 2000-01, Chapter 4, “Wealth.”

This week’s Snapshot by EPI economist Jared Bernstein.

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