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60% of the world is still without internet

Over 4 billion people are offline around the world

Christopher Hooton
Tuesday 16 December 2014 11:58 GMT
(World Bank)

In the relatively short amount of time since its invention, the internet has become a dominant force in our lives, and be it through our smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs, speaker systems watches or other devices we make use of it in some cases for more hours of the day than we don't.

But while it may seem omnipresent thanks to hi-tech cities, Isis tweets and tech outsourcing to Asia, many people in the world still do not have access to the internet – the majority in fact.

A McKinsey report points out that about 60% of the world's population is still offline – that's over four billion people.

Central Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East have the lowest number of internet users per 100 people, which may not be surprising, though the fact that one in five Americans still don't use the internet might be.

Poverty, digital illiteracy and poor infrastructure are the main barriers to internet access around the world, with 50% of those offline living below the poverty line of their respective countries amd 64% living in rural areas.

At the current trajectory however, The Brookings Institution says that an extra billion people could be online by 2017.

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