More than half the world is on­line

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

MORE than half the world’s pop­u­la­tion is now on­line, re­search by the United Nations has re­vealed.

Some 3.9bil­lion peo­ple are us­ing the in­ter­net, with 51.2% of the globe set to be con­nected by the end of the year – a mile­stone which was orig­i­nally ex­pected to be reached by the end of 2019.

Houlin Zhao, head of the UN’s In­ter­na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Union, said that the mile­stone was ‘an im­por­tant step to­wards a more in­clu­sive global in­for­ma­tion so­ci­ety’.

But he warned that ‘far too many peo­ple’ are still ex­cluded. Four out of ev­ery five peo­ple in the world’s rich­est coun­tries are con­nected to the in­ter­net, com­pared with just 51.3% back in 2005. In de­vel­op­ing nations, the in­crease has been even more dra­matic, with 45.3% of peo­ple on­line – a fig­ure which is up from just 7.7% 13 years ago.

In Africa, the fig­ure has shot up from 2.1% in 2005 to 24.4% to­day. There are now more mo­bile phone con­tracts than peo­ple on the planet.

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