In 2011, close to one third of the world’s population was connected to the internet. Asking where are those people, we can answer in 2 ways.
- Represented by size, the highest number of users, more than one half billion, are in China, the largest country on the map.
- Displayed by color, usage density is sparse in China. In the 20 to 40% range, China’s internet penetration has a long ways to go when compared to the darkest red nations–many in Europe–where usage tops 80% of the population.
Not quite as evident, 42% of the world’s internet users can be found in Asia. With a lower usage to population ratio–India is below 20%– you can see that hundreds of millions remain to be connected. If the trend continues, the numbers should soar.
Commenting on the growth of global internet use, the map’s creators from the Information Geographies Project at the Oxford Internet Institute said that most North African countries are up by 100% while the sub-Saharan nations are far behind. Much more dense, Latin America’s internet penetration rate exceeds 40%.
This is their 2008 map:
Economically and politically, we can only begin to imagine the impact of global connectivity. Your ideas?
Sources and resources: The group that created the map accompanied it with the facts I presented. You might want to look at the 2008 report also. Hat tip to the Atlantic for alerting me to the project.