Research And ACT Score Data Shows States With Faster Internet Service Have A Smarter Population

Apparently, people are using the Internet for more than streaming Netflix and looking at cat videos. Research by Highspeed suggests that the states that have the highest ACT scores are also the ones that have the fastest Internet connections. Obviously, upgrading your Internet connection (or living in a state with fast connections) isn’t going to ensure academic success, but the correlation between Internet connectivity and academics makes a certain amount of sense: much of education is based on communication, and the better your communication tools (and the better your access to them), the better for your studies.

HSI research suggests there might be a correlation between education and Internet connection speeds
Image Credit: HSI

The data used in HSI's research was pulled from Akamai’s 2013 Internet speed tracking and’s average ACT scores in 2013. According to Highspeed, the top five states with the fastest Internet connections (Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington) are all in the top 15 of state ACT score averages. The states with the slowest Internet connections (Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, Montana, and West Virginia) are in the bottom half of the rankings for ACT score averages.

There are exceptions, of course, and an argument could be made that low Internet speeds are symptom rather than cause, but it’s food for thought.