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Health Agencies Update
July 27, 2021

Internet Access as a Social Determinant of Health

JAMA. 2021;326(4):298. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.11733

Using data from its social determinants of health database, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently created an online visualization tool providing county-level information about people’s internet access.

The new resource features a US map showing percentages of households with computers, smartphones, and any type of high-speed internet access. The map also shows percentages of people living in poverty, because internet access rates increase with income. For example, in Attala County, in the center of Mississippi, 22.5% of households have no internet access, while 23.09% of the population lives in poverty. On the other hand, in Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, and home of the National Institutes of Health, only 4.37% of households have no internet access, while 6.9% of the population lives in poverty.

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