SC trails nation in home computer, Internet use

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When it comes to having a computer and logging on to the Internet most are like Horry County resident Leon Brown. "I have an iPad, a laptop, and two desktops in my house."

Most can relate with Brown in having multiple devices to log on to the world wide web, but according to the US Census Bureau, more than 21 percent of those in the Palmetto State don't have a computer, and 13.5 percent don't have a connection to the Internet either.

"I was rather surprised. I thought these days everybody including children had computer and access to the Internet," said Brown.

Nationally South Carolina ranks significantly lower than others, just behind Mississippi and New Mexico.

Behind South Carolina in at-home computer and Internet use is West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas.

Heather Williamson is included in the 21 percent. She was at the Horry County Memorial Library branch in Socastee to access her online classes. "Not having access means I would have to drive to the library every day. So we are tying to get it, but right now I'm trying to get my money straight to get Internet access."

Williamson is not alone when it comes to not having access at home. John Kinman, another Horry County resident, has also been without. "No we didn't have a computer three or four years ago. We got one once our youngest started school."

Kinman said he feels most people opt out to having a computer and Internet in the state because of the expense. "It's one of those things a lot of people look at as a luxury item," he believes.

South Carolina was on trend with the national average when it came to people using their smart phones for an Internet connection. This census report was conducted back in 2011 and released on Monday.

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