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Google.JPGCalifornia, the birthplace of the personal computer, is only mediocre in its Internet use vis-à-vis other states, a new Census Bureau report reveals.

California's 35.9 million residents over the age of 3 are less likely to access the Internet from home or other locations than those in other states.

California's home access rate in 2012 was 68.5 percent, under the national average of 69.1 percent, while its non-home access rate, 73.5, is below the 74.7 percent national rate.

Only in a third category, living in a home with Internet access, does California's 81.3 percent surpass the national rate of 79.3 percent.

The Census Bureau survey found that Oregon had the highest percentage of residents with Internet access at home, 87.9 percent, while Mississippi was lowest at 64.8 percent.

California's relatively mediocre use of the Internet may reflect its racial and ethnic complexity and wide income disparities. The survey found that home Internet use was highest among Asians at 85 percent, followed by whites at 78.6 percent, with use by Latinos (64.5 percent) and blacks (61.9 percent) much lower.

Likewise, 91.7 percent of Americans with college degrees accessed the Internet from home, dropping down to as low as 39.3 percent of those with less than high school educations.

Therefore, states with large white majorities, such as Oregon, and/or relatively high levels of education had the highest rates of Internet access and use.

Educators have tabbed Internet access as a key ingredient in overcoming what they call the "achievement gap" between white and Asian students on one end and black and Latino youngsters on the other. Los Angeles Unified and some other school districts with high levels of non-white students are trying to overcome the Internet gap by issuing tablets to their students.

PHOTO: In this Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, file photo, Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, speaks during a press conference in New York. Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews.



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