Only 35% of the world is online

A World Bank report maps the divergence of Internet access around the globe. In some countries, fewer than 2% are connected.

By Jason Notte Aug 22, 2013 10:42AM
Silver globe with twinkling lights (© Tetra Images/Getty Images)Maybe "World Wide Web" is still a bit presumptuous at this point.

According to the World Bank, only 35% of the global population is online. That's right, kids: When your parents say your Snapchat and Instagram antics are out there for the world to see, they're only technically correct.

The folks at CNNMoney put together an interactive map of the percentage of each country's population with an online presence, and it has big, empty spots in several parts of the world. In Madagascar, for example, only 2.1% of the population are Internet users. In the sprawling, conflict-ridden Democratic Republic of Congo, a scant 1.7% are online.

That's still gaudy compared to the 1.1% of the population with Internet access under the iron-fisted regime in Burma. Cambodia is only slightly better at 5.5%.

Wealth, as you may suspect, plays a huge role in who's online and who isn't. A full 81% of U.S. citizens are online, even if they're feeling less and less wonderful about that as more details about the NSA's Prism spy program are released.

Meanwhile, nearly 87% of Canadians are online. That's roughly equivalent to the percentage in the U.K., but it pales in comparison to Scandanavian countries. Norway, Sweden and Finland are near the top with 95%, 94% and 91% Internet usage, respectively. Even those trail well-connected Iceland, where 96% of the country is online.

Africa lags far behind among the continents. Only six of its countries (South Africa at 41%, Morocco at 55%, Egypt at 44%, Kenya at 32%, Nigeria at 32.9% and the Sudan at 21%) have more than 1 in 5 people online.

Not that Asia and Oceania fare much better. Despite being a huge tech producer, only 42% of Chinese use the Internet. That lags well behind South Korea (84%) and Japan (80%), though even China's tightly guarded Internet access is well beyond that of India (12%), Bangladesh (6%) and Indonesia (15%).

While the Internet has a toehold in every corner of the globe, the disparity in access among the world's citizens suggests it's still primarily a tool for those with the means or might to use it.

More on moneyNOW

Aug 22, 2013 12:19PM
There are many places that need food and water first.
Aug 22, 2013 2:26PM
Aug 22, 2013 2:12PM
If the roles were reversed then the people of those nations would not care for you here in the U.S.A. having everything that they have .Where is the outcry over trying to bring our world down to the standards of third world countries. We are so worried about sending them every thing under the sun from billions in foreign aid to heavy equipment military weapons . Even if you get them the internet they are not going to be able to do much more than babble and stir up wars over their old petty jealousies. It's time to concentrate on this country and OUR people for awhile.
Aug 22, 2013 12:54PM
How do they check the weather and their bank balance??
Aug 22, 2013 2:36PM
This, is the Happiest News of the day.
Only 35%.  What a joke.  Wonderful!!!
Y'know, there may be hope for this world, after all...
(and, somewhere, Steve Jobs is using a rotary phone--so, in your face)
Aug 22, 2013 10:53PM
Neanderthals.  How do they know what Lindsay Lohan is up to?
Aug 22, 2013 3:29PM
that whole $200 crank-up power laptop for africa and such sort of fizzled out. i can't underestimate the power of information to shape the world.
Aug 22, 2013 3:22PM
I'm still deciding to go with Broad band or dial up. I don't even have a computer yet. They Say AOL is great.
Aug 22, 2013 1:11PM

...and the NSA want a greater percentage on-line so they can snoop more.


Aug 22, 2013 12:34PM
NSA PRISM SPY PROGRAM.....Here comes the NEW WORLD ORDER,,,,,like it or not !!!!!
Aug 22, 2013 6:43PM
Time to get Old Al out of mothballs and get that ISP train a rolling.
Aug 22, 2013 12:33PM
The large majority of civilized countries are online.  I don't give a damn about the third world.
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