Data

Share of the population using the Internet

International Telecommunication Union

What you should know about this indicator

  • An Internet user is defined by the International Telecommunication Union as anyone who has accessed the Internet from any location in the last three months.
  • This can be from any type of device, including a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant, games machine, digital TV, and other technological devices.

Internet users are individuals who have used the Internet (from any location) in the last 3 months. The Internet can be used via a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant, games machine, digital TV etc. Limitations and exceptions: Operators have traditionally been the main source of telecommunications data, so information on subscriptions has been widely available for most countries. This gives a general idea of access, but a more precise measure is the penetration rate - the share of households with access to telecommunications. During the past few years more information on information and communication technology use has become available from household and business surveys. Also important are data on actual use of telecommunications services. Ideally, statistics on telecommunications (and other information and communications technologies) should be compiled for all three measures: subscriptions, access, and use. The quality of data varies among reporting countries as a result of differences in regulations covering data provision and availability. Discrepancies may also arise in cases where the end of a fiscal year differs from that used by ITU, which is the end of December of every year. A number of countries have fiscal years that end in March or June of every year. Statistical concept and methodology: The Internet is a world-wide public computer network. It provides access to a number of communication services including the World Wide Web and carries email, news, entertainment and data files, irrespective of the device used (not assumed to be only via a computer - it may also be by mobile phone, PDA, games machine, digital TV etc.). Access can be via a fixed or mobile network. For additional/latest information on sources and country notes, please also refer to: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx [Text from World Bank World Development Indicators metadata]

Share of the population using the Internet International Telecommunication Union
Share of the population who used the Internet in the last three months.
Source
World Bank (2023) – with minor processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
1960–2022
Unit
% of population

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the World Bank's primary collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available and includes national, regional, and global estimates.

[Text from World Bank data catalog]

Retrieved on
May 29, 2023
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Development Indicators, The World Bank (2023).

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Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Share of the population using the Internet”, part of the following publication: Hannah Ritchie, Edouard Mathieu, Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2023) - “Internet”. Data adapted from World Bank. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-individuals-using-the-internet [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

World Bank (2023) – with minor processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

World Bank (2023) – with minor processing by Our World in Data. “Share of the population using the Internet – International Telecommunication Union” [dataset]. World Bank, “World Bank World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved June 15, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-individuals-using-the-internet