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