Two-thirds of the world’s population uses the Internet, but 2.7 billion people remain offline

Today, an estimated 5.3 billion people, or 66 per cent of the world’s population, use the Internet.

This represents a growth rate of 6.1 per cent over 2021, up from 5.1 per cent for 2020-2021, but pales in comparison with the 11 per cent for 2019-2020 seen at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. That leaves 2.7 billion people offline, showing just how much remains to be done if the target of universal and meaningful connectivity that the world set itself for 2030 is to be reached.

In the countries of Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Americas, between 80 and 90 per cent of the population uses the Internet, approaching universal use (defined for practical purposes as an Internet penetration rate of at least 95 per cent). Approximately two-thirds of the population in the Arab States and Asia-Pacific countries (70 and 64 per cent respectively) use the Internet, in line with the global average, while the average for Africa is just 40 per cent of the population.

Universal connectivity also remains a distant prospect in the least developed countries (LDCs) and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), where only 36 per cent of the population is currently online.