Almost 3 billion people have never been online

Everything digital still excludes 37% of the world’s population according to the UN.

“With the Covid, the whole world has gone digital”, we have been repeating for several months. All the world ? Not really. According to the UN, almost 3 billion people (2.9 billion to be precise) in the world have never been on the Internet, or 37% of the world’s population. 96% of them are in developing countries.

It is true that the number of connections, driven by the expansion of work and school, has seen its largest increase in 10 years, notes a report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The number of people connected to the Internet increased from 4.1 billion to 4.9 billion between 2019 and 2020. But this acceleration is uneven because for the poorest, the Internet remains inaccessible. In the 46 least developed countries, three-quarters of the people still do not have access to it.

Women and the elderly are the least connected

Among the least connected profiles are older people, women and people living in rural areas. Poverty, but also illiteracy and lack of digital skills, continue to exclude part of the population, notes the ITU.

Note that in developed countries like France, a digital divide persists as well. Another 16.5% of the French are in a situation of illectronism (those between 15 and 29 years old represent 3% of this percentage) according to the INSEE. In 2019, still in France, one in six people had not used the Internet during the year.

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