Nationwide Internet Demand Broken Down by State

Oct 5 | By Brandon Jarman

Shot of a young businesswoman using a laptop while working in her home office

Internet demand has reached an all-time high with more households increasing usage for heavier news consumption, social media browsing, and streaming services, as well as remote work and school. 

New statistics show that the increase came about shortly after the eruption of COVID-19 in the United States, furthered by the stay-at-home initiatives. But which states have had the most significant internet demand increase? 

To find out, the team at VerizonSpecials conducted a study to compare 2019 and 2020 nationwide internet demand using data from Statista, Pew Research, and the Census Bureau. Keep reading for the results of the report, including information on key findings and the study’s methodology. 

Internet Demand Per State Nationwide

Interesting Findings

Top 5 States for Highest Percentage Increase

RankGeographic Area Name% Increase
3New Mexico12%
5West Virginia11%

Bottom 5 States for Lowest Percentage Increase

RankGeographic Area Name% Increase
48New Hampshire4%
  • Mississippi takes first place for the highest increase in internet subscriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic with a 13 percent increase.
  • Utah has the most electronic devices at home with 96 percent of households owning a device. 
  • While California is the most populated state at 39,557,045 people, only 89 percent of the population has an internet subscription.
  • There was an average of an 84 percent internet subscription increase in the US from Jan–May of 2019 to Jan–May of 2020.

National Statistics

Surveyed thoughts on the increase/decrease in social media usage:
  • From those surveyed, on an overall average 32.35 percent overall believe that their social media usage would increase.
  • From those surveyed, on an overall average, 2.9 percent believe that their social media usage would decrease.
Increased time spent on media consumption due to the coronavirus outbreak among internet users worldwide as of March 2020, by country:
Platform/deviceUnited StatesWorldwide
Watching more news coverage26%36%
Watching more shows/films on streaming services (e.g. Netflix)24%27%
Spending longer on messaging services (e.g. WhatApp, Facebook Messenger, etc)6%22%
Spending longer on social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc)16%21%
Watching more TV on broadcast channels18%20%
Spending more time on computer/video games13%18%
Reading more books/listening to more audiobooks11%14%
Listening to more streaming services (e.g. Apple Music, Spotify etc)7%13%
Listening to more radio5%6%
Reading more magazines5%6%
Creating/uploading videos (e.g. on Tik Tok, YouTube etc)3%5%
Reading more newspapers4%4%

Average Daily Data Usage in Gigabit

Device20192020% increase
Streaming Box/Stick3.95.438%
Gaming Console34.447%
Connected TV2.63.638%
Smart Speaker0.10.10%
Total Average1.72.438%


The team at VerizonSpecials gathered data from proprietary information, Statista, Pew Research, and the Census Bureau to determine which state would predict the most significant increase in demand for the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic and time frame. 

  • All fifty states in the United States including DC but excluding Puerto Rico
  • Gathered census information about total population, devices in the household, and internet subscription

We looked at the percentage change year over year from January–May of both 2019 and 2020. To account for higher usage thanks for various promotions and marketing efforts from each internet service, we considered January’s percent year over year and March, which was the general start of lockdown in the US, and subtracted any significant increase that wasn’t standard at the time. 
Next, we took the average from all three sources—Statista, Pew Research, and the Census Bureau—to determine the average internet subscription percentage increase. We also used Census Bureau data to determine and predict the average internet subscription percentage increase.

To Wrap Things Up

From having more time to binge your favorite new shows to having less time due to adopting the role of teacher, VerizonSpecials can power your internet connection so that in a world of uncertainties, there’s one thing you can always rely on. 

About is an online authorized retailer of Verizon. blog is for informational purposes only, is not affiliated with and does not represent the views of Verizon.

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