Access to electricity (% of population) - North America

Definition: Access to electricity is the percentage of population with access to electricity. Electrification data are collected from industry, national surveys and international sources.

Description: The map below shows how Access to electricity (% of population) varies by country in North America. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the region is Canada, with a value of 100.00. The country with the lowest value in the region is Mexico, with a value of 99.10.

Source: World Bank, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) database from World Bank, Global Electrification database.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: Maintaining reliable and secure electricity services while seeking to rapidly decarbonize power systems is a key challenge for countries throughout the world. More and more countries are becoming increasing dependent on reliable and secure electricity supplies to underpin economic growth and community prosperity. This reliance is set to grow as more efficient and less carbon intensive forms of power are developed and deployed to help decarbonize economies. Energy is necessary for creating the conditions for economic growth. It is impossible to operate a factory, run a shop, grow crops or deliver goods to consumers without using some form of energy. Access to electricity is particularly crucial to human development as electricity is, in practice, indispensable for certain basic activities, such as lighting, refrigeration and the running of household appliances, and cannot easily be replaced by other forms of energy. Individuals' access to electricity is one of the most clear and un-distorted indication of a country's energy poverty status. Electricity access is increasingly at the forefront of governments' preoccupations, especially in the developing countries. As a consequence, a lot of rural electrification programs and national electrification agencies have been created in these countries to monitor more accurately the needs and the status of rural development and electrification. Use of energy is important in improving people's standard of living. But electricity generation also can damage the environment. Whether such damage occurs depends largely on how electricity is generated. For example, burning coal releases twice as much carbon dioxide - a major contributor to global warming - as does burning an equivalent amount of natural gas.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Data for access to electricity are collected among different sources: mostly data from nationally representative household surveys (including national censuses) were used. Survey sources include Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Living Standards Measurement Surveys (LSMS), Multi-Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), the World Health Survey (WHS), other nationally developed and implemented surveys, and various government agencies (for example, ministries of energy and utilities). Given the low frequency and the regional distribution of some surveys, a number of countries have gaps in available data. To develop the historical evolution and starting point of electrification rates, a simple modeling approach was adopted to fill in the missing data points - around 1990, around 2000, and around 2010. Therefore, a country can have a continuum of zero to three data points. There are 42 countries with zero data point and the weighted regional average was used as an estimate for electrification in each of the data periods. 170 countries have between one and three data points and missing data are estimated by using a model with region, country, and time variables. The model keeps the original observation if data is available for any of the time periods. This modeling approach allowed the estimation of electrification rates for 212 countries over these three time periods (Indicated as "Estimate"). Notation "Assumption" refers to the assumption of universal access in countries classified as developed by the United Nations.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual