Worldwide internet access – 4 countries over 90% but 41 less than 10%

Some sobering analysis from Gallup   today of worldwide internet access in the home measured across 148 countries. They annually survey around 1,000 adults (15 and over) per country and their core question is  ”Does your home have access to the Internet?” Whilst the overall access trend is increasing over two thirds (67.6%) of the countries are below the 50% level.

Worldwide adult Home Internet access
       #     % total
Over 90% 4 2.7%
80% – 89% 19 12.8%
70% – 79% 11 7.4%
60% – 69% 8 5.4%
50% – 59% 6 4.1%
40% – 49% 13 8.8%
30% – 39% 16 10.8%
20% – 29% 12 8.1%
10% – 19% 18 12.2%
0% – 9% 41 27.7%
Total 148
Source: Gallup January 14 2013


The UK (84% -17th) is in the top quartile along with the Netherlands (91% – 4th) Canada (87% – 7th), Ireland (87% – 9th). France (85% – 13th), Belgium (82% – 22nd), the United States (80% – 23rd), Germany (77% – 26th) Japan (73% – 32nd) and Spain (70% – 34th). The top quartile goes down to about 65%.

The Scandinavian countries fare well with Sweden (93%) heading the list, Denmark (92%) in 3rd position and Finland (84%) in 15th. We can’t find Norway for some reason. The Antipodes are also in the top 6. New Zealand is just ahead of its bigger neighbour with both being recorded at 89%.  Singapore in 2nd place at 93% is the final member of this elite sextet.

Gallup comments on the developing and BRIC countries “The world’s second largest economy — China — falls in an entirely different category, with 34% reporting home Internet access, on par with the global average. Among the other emerging economies known as the BRICS, Russia and Brazil are on the higher end at 51% and 40%, while South Africa and India are on the lower end at 16% and 3%, respectively.”

Whilst we haven’t done an exhaustive analysis the African countries to us seem to be generally well below the average of 32% with only Algeria (38%) and Morocco (37%) above with many below eg Tunisia (30%) Mauritius (30%) Zimbabwe (27%) Swaziland (25%), South Africa (16%) followed by many others (at a rough count about 30).

Click to enlarge

Gallups implications are worth repeating in full:


A nation’s home Internet access coverage — or lack thereof — has implications for that population’s economic strength and wellbeing as well as the global economy. The more people who have Internet access in their homes, the more likely they are to have easy, around-the-clock access to consume news and information, and in some cases, to sell and buy goods online.

Home Internet access also has implications for the education of a nation’s youth, the productivity of its workers, and the civic engagement of its citizens. Home Internet access provides students with access to critical materials for education, workers with ways to stay connected and productive during hours away from their place of business, and all citizens with news and resources they can use to learn and connect with others.

Mobiles phones, however, are helping to fill the void in many countries and will be increasingly likely to do so as access to smartphones and tablet devices powered by mobile phone networks continues to increase worldwide. Still, additional Gallup research in sub-Saharan Africa has found that income is a key indicator of both mobile phone ownership and Internet access. As such, economic development more broadly is the key to expanding home Internet access worldwide.”


Survey Methods / Qualifications

“Results are based on telephone or face-to-face interviews with at least 1,000 adults in each country, aged 15 and older, conducted in 2011. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranged from a low of ±2.0 percentage points in India to a high of ±5.1 percentage points in Trinidad and Tobago. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.”

“It is important to note that these results reflect the percentage of adults who answered yes, rather than the percentage of households in a given country with Internet access. Additionally, it is possible that adults have access to the Internet through other means, including schools and universities, public libraries, Internet cafes, and smartphones. In the case of smartphones, it is possible some respondents consider this home Internet access while others do not.”

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