There are now 3 billion people on the internet — and those in Denmark are best at it
By the end of 2014, there’ll be as many phone subscriptions as people, report finds
By Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 25 November 2014
Denmark is the most connected place on the internet, as the number of people getting online is quickly increasing, a UN report has said.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the branch of the UN that is tasked with looking at computer and telecommunications use, has compiled its annual report looking at the world’s most connected countries as well as the fast spread of internet use across the world.
Denmark came first in the ITU’s ICT Development Index, an annual study of countries’ level of ICT access, use and skills. South Korea came second, with most of the rest made up of European and high-income countries.
The ITU praised other countries including the UAE, Fiji, Cape Verde and Thailand for improving their ranking most over the last year.
By the end of 2014, there will be 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions — as many subscriptions as people in the world.
But while mobile internet has been key in getting many people in rural and developing countries online, much of that number is accounted for by people with multiple subscriptions and often isn’t passed on to people in the very worst-connected areas, the report says. In developing countries there is a sharp divide between rural and urban areas, with connectedness sometimes varying by 35%.
But internet has improved in poorer countries, with developing nations accounting for about 30% of international bandwidth, up from 9% ten years ago.
Internet use is up 6.6% globally in 2014, with most of that growth coming from the developing world. The number of interent users in those countries has doubled over the last five years, meaning that two-thirds of people who are online live there.
Of the 4.3 billion people without the internet, 90% live in developing countries. About 2.5 billion people live in the world’s 42 least connected countries, which mostly have large and rural populations.
The increasing number of people on the internet have brought with them yet more content. That is mostly provided by the biggest websites — more than 100 hours of video is added to YouTube every minute, for instance. Much of that comes from the richest countries, which signed up 80% of new domains in 2013.