Internet users (per 100 people)

Definition: Internet users are individuals who have used the Internet (from any location) in the last 12 months. Internet can be used via a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant, games machine, digital TV etc.

Description: The map below shows how Internet users (per 100 people) varies by country. 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 world is Iceland, with a value of 98.16. The country with the lowest value in the world is Dem. People's Rep. Korea, with a value of 0.00.

Source: International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report and database, and World Bank estimates.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: The digital and information revolution has changed the way the world learns, communicates, does business, and treats illnesses. New information and communications technologies (ICT) offer vast opportunities for progress in all walks of life in all countries - opportunities for economic growth, improved health, better service delivery, learning through distance education, and social and cultural advances. Today's smartphones and tablets have computer power equivalent to that of yesterday's computers and provide a similar range of functions. Device convergence is thus rendering the conventional definition obsolete. Comparable statistics on access, use, quality, and affordability of ICT are needed to formulate growth-enabling policies for the sector and to monitor and evaluate the sector's impact on development. Although basic access data are available for many countries, in most developing countries little is known about who uses ICT; what they are used for (school, work, business, research, government); and how they affect people and businesses. The global Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development is helping to set standards, harmonize information and communications technology statistics, and build statistical capacity in developing countries. However, despite significant improvements in the developing world, the gap between the ICT haves and have-nots remains.

Limitations and Exceptions: Operators have traditionally been the main source of telecommunications data, so information on subscriptions has been widely available for most countries. This gives a general idea of access, but a more precise measure is the penetration rate - the share of households with access to telecommunications. During the past few years more information on information and communication technology use has become available from household and business surveys. Also important are data on actual use of telecommunications services. Ideally, statistics on telecommunications (and other information and communications technologies) should be compiled for all three measures: subscriptions, access, and use. The quality of data varies among reporting countries as a result of differences in regulations covering data provision and availability. Discrepancies may also arise in cases where the end of a fiscal year differs from that used by ITU, which is the end of December of every year. A number of countries have fiscal years that end in March or June of every year.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The Internet is a world-wide public computer network. It provides access to a number of communication services including the World Wide Web and carries email, news, entertainment and data files, irrespective of the device used (not assumed to be only via a computer - it may also be by mobile phone, PDA, games machine, digital TV etc.). Access can be via a fixed or mobile network.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Please cite the International Telecommunication Union for third-party use of these data.