Global Internet Users At 4.1 Billion Says New Report
New International Telecommunication Union (ITU) data has revealed that Internet use continues to grow globally, with 4.1 billion people now using the Internet, or 53.6% of the global population.
However, an estimated 3.6 billion people remain offline, with the majority of the unconnected living in the Least Developed Countries where an average of just two out of every ten people are online.
“Connecting the 3.6 billion people still offline to the power of digital technologies must become one of our most urgent development priorities,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.
“Multi-stakeholder collaboration will be key to making universal and meaningful connectivity a reality for all.
The report unveiled on Tuesday explained that it will require targeted efforts to lower the cost of broadband and innovative policies to finance network rollout to unconnected populations.”
According to the report, Internet use in developed countries is nearing saturation levels, with close to 87 per cent of individuals online.
Europe is the region with the highest Internet use (82.5 per cent), while Africa is the region with the lowest (28.2 per cent).
By the end of 2019, ITU estimates that 57 per cent of households globally will have Internet access at home.
However, the number of households with a computer at home is only expected to rise by about one percentage point – to 49.7 per cent – between 2018 and 2019.
The data reveal that in most countries worldwide women are still trailing men in benefiting from the transformational power of digital technologies.
Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2019 , the first publication in ITU’s new Measuring digital development series , estimates that over half the total global female population (52 per cent) is still not using the Internet, compared to 42 per cent of all men.
Overall, the proportion of all women using the Internet globally is 48 per cent, against 58 per cent of all men. More men than women use the Internet in every region of the world except the Americas, which has near-parity.
ITU data show that while the digital gender gap has been shrinking in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe, it is growing in Africa*, the Arab States and the Asia-Pacific region. It is widest in developig countries, especially Least Developed Countries.
“ITU’s Measuring digital development reports are a powerful tool to better understand connectivity issues, including the growing digital gender divide, at a time when over half of the world’s population is using the Internet,” said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General. “ITU statistics help policy-makers and regulators make informed policy decisions to connect the unconnected and track progress at the global level.”