UN Agency Announces That Around Half Of The World's Population Is Still Not Using The Internet

By Victor Thomson , Nov 23, 2016 04:49 AM EST

A new report from a United Nations agency found that around 53 percent of the world's population still does not use the Internet. The study has been released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

World's Internet Use

According to The Washington Post, this number represents an increase from just one year ago. However, there are serious economic and geographic disparities in the Internet usage.

The 2016 Measuring the Information Society Report found that in Europe around 79.1 percent of people were Internet users. This percent is highest of any geographic region in the world, being followed by 66.6 percent of people in the Americas. On the third position is placed the Commonwealth of Independent States, a regional organization comprised of Russia and other former Soviet Republics.

In Asia, 41.6 percent of people are using the internet and in the Arab states the percent is  41.9. On the other end of the scale, the report found that only 25.1 percent of African citizens are using the Internet.

Country Based Data

When it comes to data compared from country to country, the numbers are contrasting and the disparity in Internet users can be especially deep. For instance, with 98.2 percent, Iceland had the highest levels of Internet use. A number of northern European nations such as Luxembourg with Internet usage of 97.3 percent, Norway with 96.8 percent and Denmark with 96.3 percent are following closer.

But on the other end of the scale there are countries where Internet users are just a tiny fraction of the population. For instance, the report estimated that just 2.2 percent of Niger's citizens are Internet users, followed by Chad with 2.7 percent and Guinea-Bissau with 3.5 percent.

According to Computerworld, the report also found that the spread of mobile networks around the globe has lead to increasing Internet connectivity. But overall, women, the elderly and the poor are still lagging behind in Internet usage. Perhaps projects such as Facebook's internet drones will further help a more balanced spread of the internet usage in the world.

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