The Digital Distress Indicator
The Digital Distress Indicator is comparative measure of the level of digital readiness of various regions, such as school districts or counties. A good introduction is found in Digital Distress: What is it and who does it affect?. The I3 Connectivity Explorer has adapted this measure to rank school districts and counties within a single state.
The Digital Distress Indicator is computed from Census ACS-5 data. It uses two measures, subscriptions and access .
The subscription measure is computed from two Census estimates:
- the fraction of households having only a cellular data plan, plus
- the fraction of households that do not have any Internet subscription.
The access measure is computed from two other Census estimates:
- the fraction of households having only a mobile device, plus
- the fraction of households that do not have any devices.
Each pair of measures is added together, and a z-score is computed for each sum. The z-score measures the distance from the value to the average (mean) of all the values.
Finally the two z-scores are added together, and the result is normalized on a range from 0 to 100, where 100 indicates the highest degree of distress. For places where there is only a single school district, like Hawaii or Puerto Rico, that district gets a DDI of 100.