The 10 Fastest and Slowest States for Internet Speed

We dug through 2021 speed test data to see which states are the fastest, which are the slowest, and which improved the most for internet speed.

Catherine McNally
Editorial Lead, Internet & Gaming
Read More
May 10, 2022
3 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

We saw internet speeds rise across the US in 2021, but while some states improved as a whole, some still drag behind.

Even so, the slowest average download speed in 2021 hit 69 Mbps, up from 24 Mbps in 2020. That’s a major improvement, especially considering a single person can likely enjoy almost every online activity with a speed of 69 Mbps.

Curious to see how your state stacks up? Take a peek and see which states are home to the fastest—or slowest—internet speeds.

Map highlighting the fastest and slowest internet speeds by state

Image source: Reviews.org

10 states with the fastest internet speeds

This year’s fastest states for internet speed saw the return of northeastern states. Outside of Texas and California, the entirety of our top 10 list features states on the East Coast.

10 fastest states for internet speed in 2021
Rank
State
Average download speed*
Population (2020)**
1New Jersey142 Mbps9,288,944
2Maryland138 Mbps6,177,224
3Delaware138 Mbps989,948
4Texas134 Mbps29,145,505
5Massachusetts133 Mbps7,029,917
6California131 Mbps39,538,223
7Washington, DC130 Mbps689,545
8Rhode Island130 Mbps1,097,379
9Virginia130 Mbps8,631,393
10Georgia129 Mbps10,711,908

*Average download speeds calculated using proprietary speed test data for January 1–December 31, 2021.

**State population data retrieved from 2020 US Census reports.

10 states with the slowest internet speeds

These 10 states sit at the bottom when it comes to internet speeds, but there’s still plenty of improvement to acknowledge here.

In 2020, Alaska was home to the slowest average download speed of 24 Mbps, but in 2021 it ranked 36th out of 51 states (and the District of Columbia) with an average download speed of 101 Mbps.

And while West Virginia now brings up the back of the line with a 2021 average download speed of 69 Mbps, that’s still a 56% improvement over its 2020 average download speed of 44 Mbps.

10 slowest states for internet speed in 2021
Rank
State
Average download speed*
Population (2020)**
51West Virginia69 Mbps1,793,716
50Wyoming74 Mbps576,851
49Montana75 Mbps1,084,225
48Maine76 Mbps1,362,359
47Wisconsin86 Mbps5,893,718
46South Dakota88 Mbps886,667
45New Mexico90 Mbps2,117,522
44North Dakota91 Mbps779,094
43Arkansas91 Mbps3,011,524
42Hawaii94 Mbps1,455,271

*Average download speeds calculated using proprietary speed test data for January 1–December 31, 2021.

**State population data retrieved from 2020 US Census reports.

Top 10 states for most improved internet speeds

Speaking of state-by-state internet speed improvements, it comes as no surprise that Alaska saw the biggest boost in internet speed. The Last Frontier pumped up its download speeds by a startling 322% to reach an average of 101 Mbps in 2021. Now that deserves applause.

We’re excited to see a similar trend among nine other states that embraced change and made some serious improvements to internet speeds in 2021. (Granted, this is likely influenced by residents purchasing internet plans with faster speeds too. But the fact that faster speeds are offered is still worth noting.)

Bar chart showing the most improved internet speeds by state from 2020 to 2021

Image source: Reviews.org

10 states with the most improved internet speeds for 2020 to 2021
Rank
State
Average download speed 2021*
Average download speed 2020*
% difference
1Alaska101 Mbps24 Mbps322%
2Idaho95 Mbps29 Mbps216%
3Iowa95 Mbps34 Mbps180%
4Oklahoma114 Mbps42 Mbps171%
5Nebraska105 Mbps39 Mbps168%
6Mississippi101 Mbps38 Mbps167%
7South Dakota88 Mbps33 Mbps167%
8Kansas108 Mbps41 Mbps165%
9Hawaii94 Mbps36 Mbps161%
10Montana75 Mbps29 Mbps159%

*Average download speeds calculated using proprietary speed test data for January 1–December 31, 2021 and January 1–December 31, 2020.

10 states with the fastest and slowest upload speeds

Upload speeds and latency may not be front of mind when we chat about internet, but they play an important role in activities like Zoom calls and gaming.

That’s why we also took a look at each state’s average upload speed and latency in 2021.

No surprise, Hawaii had the highest latency. But what was surprising is seeing Mississippi top the charts for upload speeds in 2021.

Top 10 states with the fastest upload speeds in 2021
Rank
State
Average upload speed*
1Mississippi144 Mbps
2Arkansas127 Mbps
3Virginia119 Mbps
4Maryland113 Mbps
5Georgia107 Mbps
6Nebraska107 Mbps
7Texas106 Mbps
8Alabama105 Mbps
9Tennessee104 Mbps
10Washington, DC103 Mbps

*Average upload speeds calculated using proprietary speed test data for January 1–December 31, 2021 and January 1–December 31, 2020.

10 states with the slowest upload speeds in 2021
Rank
State
Average upload speed*
51Montana35 Mbps
50Hawaii46 Mbps
49Maine48 Mbps
48South Dakota50 Mbps
47Ohio56 Mbps
46Wisconsin58 Mbps
45New Mexico61 Mbps
44Missouri63 Mbps
43Wyoming64 Mbps
42Arizona65 Mbps

*Average upload speeds calculated using proprietary speed test data for January 1–December 31, 2021 and January 1–December 31, 2020.

10 states with the best and worst latency

Latency is the time it takes for your data to leave your computer, bounce off the server of the site or app you're accessing, and travel back to you. It mostly affects gamers, since high latency can cause your in-game character to bounce around the screen, also called rubberbanding.

Some aspects of latency are out of our control, such as our location and the location of the server we’re trying to access. This is why you’ll see Alaska and Hawaii at the bottom of the list with the highest latency in 2021.

Top 10 states with best latency in 2021
Rank
State
Average latency*
1New Jersey18 ms
2Rhode Island18 ms
3Washington DC18 ms
4Maryland18 ms
5California20 ms
6Georgia20 ms
7Washington20 ms
8Virginia21 ms
9Illinois21 ms
10Massachusetts103 Mbps

*Average latency calculated using proprietary speed test data for January 1–December 31, 2021 and January 1–December 31, 2020.

10 states with worst latency in 2021
Rank
State
Average upload speed*
51Hawaii70 ms
50Alaska52 ms
49Montana51 ms
48Wyoming49 ms
47Maine46 ms
46North Dakota44 ms
45Kansas43 ms
44Kentucky42 ms
43New Mexico41 ms
42Nebraska40 ms

*Average latency calculated using proprietary speed test data for January 1–December 31, 2021 and January 1–December 31, 2020.

Related articles

See how internet speeds performed in 2021

See the fastest ISPs in the US

Methodology

To determine the fastest and slowest states in terms of internet speed, we sifted through speed test results from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. We then filtered out any results for business internet, cellular data, and incomplete or duplicate entries.

Next, we averaged download speeds, upload speeds, and latency for each state.

We also compared average download speed results for 2020 and 2021 to determine which states improved the most over the past two years. We also used 2020 US Census data to include each state’s population.

The fastest to slowest states for internet speed

See where your state lands on our list.

US states ranked by fastest to slowest average download speed in 2021
Rank
State
Fastest average download speed*
1New Jersey142 Mbps
2Maryland138 Mbps
3Delaware138 Mbps
4Texas134 Mbps
5Massachusetts133 Mbps
6California131 Mbps
7District of Columbia130 Mbps
8Rhode Island130 Mbps
9Virginia130 Mbps
10Georgia129 Mbps
11New Hampshire127 Mbps
12Washington126 Mbps
13Florida124 Mbps
14Colorado124 Mbps
15New York121 Mbps
16Illinois121 Mbps
17Nevada120 Mbps
18Pennsylvania119 Mbps
19Utah116 Mbps
20Oregon115 Mbps
21Oklahoma114 Mbps
22North Carolina114 Mbps
23Tennessee113 Mbps
24Indiana111 Mbps
25Louisiana110 Mbps
26Missouri109 Mbps
27Kansas108 Mbps
28Arizona108 Mbps
29South Carolina107 Mbps
30Alabama105 Mbps
31Nebraska105 Mbps
32Vermont104 Mbps
33Connecticut103 Mbps
34Michigan102 Mbps
35Mississippi101 Mbps
36Alaska101 Mbps
37Minnesota100 Mbps
38Kentucky98 Mbps
39Iowa95 Mbps
40Idaho95 Mbps
41Ohio95 Mbps
42Hawaii94 Mbps
43Arkansas91 Mbps
44North Dakota91 Mbps
45New Mexico90 Mbps
46South Dakota88 Mbps
47Wisconsin86 Mbps
48Maine76 Mbps
49Montana75 Mbps
50Wyoming74 Mbps
51West Virginia69 Mbps

*Average download speeds calculated using proprietary speed test data for January 1–December 31, 2021.

Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

Related Articles

Home at night
Brinks Home vs. Vivint Review 2022
Brinks Home and Vivint are very different from each other, but how do you know...
EufyCam 2 camera pictured on a deck ledge dusted with snow
Eufy Cameras Review 2022
Eufy has a bunch of different wire-free and indoor cameras, as well as a 2K...
Blue kitchen
Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home Security
Blue by ADT shines over Brinks in most categories, although Brinks is still going to...
REV_Streaming-2022-Featured-Email
Streaming in 2022: Is Netflix in for a Big Subscriber Surprise?
Netflix has had a difficult 2022, losing nearly 1.2 million subscribers in the first two...