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Abstract

The share of rural and small town individuals with a computer at home increased from 14 percent in 1989 to 23 percent in 1994. The largest increase was for individuals with at least high school graduation and for individuals in households with total income above $40,000. In 1989, 12 percent of rural and small town residents used a computer at work. This increased to 17 percent in 1994. However, 40 percent of rural and small town individuals were impacted by the introduction of computers at work. Two-thirds noted that computers caused an increase in skill level needed to do their job. In 1997, at least one individual in 29 percent of rural households had used computer communications at least once (from any location). In 10 percent of rural households, one person uses computer communication in a typical month from home. General browsing and e-mail were the most common uses with electronic banking and shopping being much less common. Only 3 percent of rural households report using computer communications in a typical month for a self-employed business.

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