Measuring digital development

Facts and Figures 2021

International Telecommunication Union
Development Sector

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Approximately 4.9 billion people – or 63 per cent of the world’s population – are using the Internet in 2021[1]. This represents an increase of 17 per cent since 2019, with 782 million people estimated to have come online during that period. Of the 2.9 billion people offline, 96 per cent live in developing countries.

These are just some of the insights that can be found in the 2021 edition of Facts and Figures, ITU’s annual global assessment of digital connectivity. It features estimates for key connectivity indicators for the world, global regions, and several country groupings, including the UN-designated Least Developed Countries.

The Facts and Figures series sheds light on the multiple facets and evolving nature of the digital divide and takes stock of the progress towards closing it. It serves as a powerful advocacy tool in efforts to put digital development at the top of the agendas of policymakers and of the development community.

Read the full press release and watch the media briefing [of 1 December 2021]

Visit the Trello board for infographics and additional social media assets.

For additional resources and data, visit the Facts and Figures series page.

Learn more about ITU’s Statistics thematic priority here.


[1] Note: being online means having used the Internet in the last three months.

Measuring digital development: Facts and Figures 2021

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ITU Facts and Figures 2021 - Watch the report summary video here