Committed to connecting the world

SDG

The ITU ICT SDG indicators

Indicator 4.4.1: Proportion of youth and adults with ICT skills, by type of skills

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Lack of ICT skills is an important impediment for people to access the Internet.

​ICT skills are fundamental for participation in today’s information society, and correlate positively with social well-being and economic productivity. ITU data and other cross-nationally comparative data sources show that there are considerable gaps across the board in the skills needed at all levels. 

In about half of the 88 countries for which data are available, less than half the population possesses basic computer skills such as copying a file or sending an e-mail with an attachment. For more complex activities, such as using basic arithmetic formulae in a spreadsheet or downloading and installing new software, the proportions are even lower. In three-quarters of the countries for which data are available, these proportions are below 50 per cent. With respect to advanced computer skills, in only 11 countries do more than 10 per cent of people report having written a computer program using a specialized programming language in the last three months. 

Data suggest that developing countries are particularly disadvantaged when it comes to digital skills. There is a lack of data collected on skills in developing regions, but the available data suggest that inequalities reflect other inequalities between the different regions of the world, particularly in relation to basic skills.

More information, including maps can be found here.

​​Indicator 4.4.1 is the global indicator for SDG Target 4.4: By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship. 

The data can be found in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicat​ors Database  and in the UN SDG Indicators Database. The meta​data​ are also available on the UN website.

Indicator 5.b.1: Proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex

Men are more likely than women to own a mobile phone.

Ownership of mobile phones is an important tool to reduce gender inequality. Empowering more women with mobile phones has been shown to accelerate social and economic development. However, globally a gender gap can be observed for this indicator. In the 66 countries for which data are available for the year 2016, 2017 or 2018, mobile phone ownership among men was on average 6.8 percentage point higher than for women. In 23 of these countries, more women than men owned a mobile phone, but usually the gap was very small. Only in Chile, female ownership was substantially higher than male ownership. On the other end of the scale, in 10 countries, male ownership was more than 10 percentage points higher than female ownership, up to 30.6% in Niger and 37.3% in Côte d'Ivoire. In most of the countries that had a large gender gap in mobile phone ownership, a large gender gap in Internet usage was registered as well (indicator 17.8.1).

More information, including maps can be found here.

​Indicator 5.b.1 is the global indicator for SDG Target 5.b: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.

The data can be found in the World Telecommunication​/ICT Indicat​ors Database and in the UN SDG Indicators Database. The meta​data are also available on the UN website.

Indicator 9.c.1: Proportion of population covered by a mobile network, by technology


Almost the whole world population now lives within range of mobile-cellular network signal.

To access the Internet, mobile access provides flexibility that cannot be provided by fixed-broadband, so many people are opting to have mobile access in addition to fixed. In places where fixed-broadband is not available or is unaffordable, mobile-broadband may be the only feasible pathway to Internet access. But this is only possible if the area where someone tries to make a mobile phone call or access the Internet on a mobile device is covered by a network. 

Almost the entire world population (97%) lives within reach of a mobile cellular signal. 82% of the world’s population lives within reach of an LTE or higher mobile-broadband signal, and another 11% have access to a 3G network. While 93 per cent of the world’s population lives within reach of a mobile broadband (or Internet) service, only just over 53 per cent actually uses the Internet.​
 

Mobile coverage by type of network





















Note:
* Estimate.
Source: ITU

​​Indicator 9.c.1 is the global indicator for SDG Target 9.c: Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.

The data can be found in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database  and in the UN SDG Indicators Database. The meta​data are also available on the UN website.

Indicator 17.6.2: Fixed Internet broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, by speed


Broadband access continues to demonstrate sustained growth. 

Fixed-broadband has a significant impact on the world economy. An increase of 1 per cent in fixed-broadband penetration has been found to be associated with an increase in 0.08 per cent in gross domestic product (GDP), on average. This impact is guided by a return to scale effect, according to which the economic impact of fixed-broadband is higher in more developed countries than in less developed countries. 

In 2019, there were more fixed-broadband connections (1.1 billion) than fixed-telephone connections (931 million). Growth in fixed-broadband subscriptions has been sustained, with the penetration rate going up from 3.4 per 100 inhabitants in 2005 to 14.9 in 2019. In developed countries this number stood at 33.6 in 2019, while in developing countries it was only 11.2. In the least-developed countries, due to the high cost and lacking infrastructure, there are almost no fixed-broadband connections.





















Note:
 *​Estimate
Source: ITU

​​Indicator 17.6.2 is the global indicator for SDG 17.6: Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism.  

The data can be found in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database  and in the UN SDG Indicators Database. The meta​data are also available on the UN website.​

Indicator 17.8.1: Proportion of individuals using the Internet


More than half of the world's population is online.

An important threshold towards a more inclusive global information society has been reached, with more than half of the world population using the Internet at the end of 2018. Growth continued, with 53.6% of individuals, or 4.1 billion people, using the Internet at the end of 2019. There is an uneven distribution though among the SDG regions, with percentages ranging from 20% in Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand) in 2018 to 87% in Australia and New Zealand in 2018.

Continued collective efforts are needed to connect the remaining half in order to leave no one behind. Nations around the world have recognized the transformational impact of bringing their population online and this positive change can happen if education about the technology is combined with the right policies. To strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development goals there needs to be a close collaboration among governments, policy makers and network operators.


Proportion of individuals using the Internet by SDG region


















 Note:
*Estimate
 Source: ITU

​Indicator 17.8.1 is the global indicator for SDG 17.8: Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology. 

The data can be found in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database  and in the UN SDG Indicators Database. The meta​data​ are also available on the UN website.