Progress on Broadband Access to the Internet and Use of Mobile Devices in the United States

Public Health Rep. 2017 Jan/Feb;132(1):27-31. doi: 10.1177/0033354916679365. Epub 2016 Dec 9.


Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) aims to improve population health outcomes through several objectives, including health communication and health information technology. We used 7 administrations of the Health Information National Trends Survey to examine HP2020 goals toward access to the Internet through broadband and mobile devices (N = 34 080). We conducted descriptive analyses and obtained predicted marginals, also known as model-adjusted risks, to estimate the association between demographic characteristics and use of mobile devices. The HP2020 target (7.7% of the US population) for accessing the Internet through a cellular network was surpassed in 2014 (59.7%), but the HP2020 target (83.2%) for broadband access fell short (63.8%). Sex and age were associated with accessing the Internet through a cellular network throughout the years (Wald F test, P <.05). The increase in the percentage of people accessing the Internet through mobile devices presents an opportunity for technology-based health interventions that should be explored.

Keywords: Healthy People 2020; health communication; health information national trends survey; health information technology.

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Communication
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Wireless Technology*
  • Young Adult