Committed to connecting the world

The ITU ICT SDG indicators

​The Global SDG Indicator Framework includes 7 ICT indicators covering 6 targets under Goals 4, 5, 9, and 17. The following five indicators are under the responsibility of ITU.

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


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. A third of individuals lack basic digital skills, such as copying files or folders or using copy and paste tools; a mere 41 per cent have standard skills, such as installing or configuring software or using basic formulas on spreadsheets; and only 4 per cent are using specialist language to write computer programs.

Data suggest 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.

Percentage of individuals with ICT skills, by development status, 2017



 

Note: For each country, the value for basic skills is the highest value among the following four computer-based activities: copying or moving a file or folder, using copy and paste tools to duplicate or move information within a document, sending e‑mails with attached files, and transferring files between a computer and other devices. The value for standard skills is the highest value among the following four computer-based activities: using basic arithmetic formula in a spreadsheet; connecting and installing new devices; creating electronic presentations with presentation software; and finding, downloading, installing and configuring software. The value for advanced skills is the value for writing a computer program using a specialized programming language.
Source: ITU.

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 Indicators Database  and in the UN SDG Indicators database. The Metadata 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.

While globally, penetration rate of mobile-cellular subscriptions has surpassed 100 per cent, this does not mean everybody owns a mobile phone. In 2017, 76.4 per cent of the population owned a mobile phone, up from 70.6 per cent two years earlier. In developed countries, this percentage was as high as 92.1 per cent, while in LDCs it stood at 56 per cent. While in some countries more women owned a mobile phone than men, and in many cases the proportions are similar, there are still many countries where substantially more men than women own a mobile phone. On average, across all countries, the gap is 4 percentage points. Given the positive impacts of mobile phone ownership on development, this is an area where quick gains can be made.

Mobile phone ownership gender gap, 2017 (%)


 































Note: For each country, the gap is calculated as the percentage of females owning a mobile phone minus the percentage of males owning a mobile phone
Source: ITU.

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 Indicators Database  and in the UN SDG Indicators database. The Metadata 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 whole world population, 96 per cent, now lives within reach of a mobile-cellular network. Furthermore, 90 per cent of people can access the Internet through a 3G or higher-quality network. This evolution of the mobile network, however, is going faster than the growth in the percentage of the population using 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 Metadata 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 2018, there were more fixed-broadband connections (1.1 billion) than fixed-telephone connections (942 million). Growth in fixed-broadband subscriptions has been sustained, with the penetration rate going up from 3.4 per 100 inhabitants in 2005 to 14.1 in 2018.

Fixed-broadband subscriptions by speed, by level of development, 2015–2017


















Source
: ITU

In 2017, 96 per cent of fixed-broadband subscriptions had a download speed of at least 2 Mbit/s. Furthermore, 82 per cent of subscriptions had advertised speeds of more than 10 Mbit/s in 2017, up from 63 per cent in 2015. In 42 per cent of countries, more than half of fixed-broadband subscriptions had a download speed of more than 10 Mbit/s. While subscriptions for the lowest speed tier (≥256 kbit/s to <2 Mbit/s) have virtually disappeared from developed countries, it is still very much a reality in LDCs, where in 2017 30 per cent of fixed-broadband connections were still at speeds below 2 Mbit/s. But it is in rapid decline, given that, in only two years, the share was halved from 60 to 30 per cent.


Global fixed-broadband subscriptions, by speed, 2015–2017

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 Metadata 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.

Individuals using internet, by development status

 

 



















Source
: ITU

In developed countries, slow and steady growth increased the percentage of population using the Internet, from 51.3 per cent in 2005 to 80.9 per cent in 2018. Given that the very young usually do not use the Internet yet, this is approaching saturation. Indeed, in the last few years, growth has been very subdued. In developing countries, growth has been much more sustained. From 7.7 per cent in 2005, the penetration rate moved up to 45.3 per cent in 2018. The expectation is that this growth will continue strongly in the foreseeable future. This holds even stronger for the subset of LDCs, where the penetration rate grew from 0.8 per cent in 2005 to 19.5 per cent in 2018.

Proportion of individuals using the Internet by region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Source
: ITU

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.

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 Metadata are also available on the UN website.