New data released today by the ITU, the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT), show that almost half of the world's population will use the Internet by the end of this year. However, 3.9 billion people remain cut-off from the vast resources available on the Internet, despite falling prices for ICT services.
Around 81% of the population in developed countries use Internet, compared with 15% in the least developed countries. The report also notes a huge gender gap in favor of men when it comes to Internet usage. The regional gender gap is largest in Africa, at 23%, and smallest in the Americas, at 2%.
Globally, 47% of the world's population uses Internet. UN's goal is to have 60% of the world's population online by 2020. The ITU expects that 3.5 billion people will have Internet access by the end of this year.
However, the availability of the Internet in the least developed countries is 20 years behind the developed countries. This digital divide means that half of the world is still offline.
By the end of 2016, more than half of the world's population - 3.9 billion people - will not yet be using the Internet. While almost one billion households in the world now have Internet access (of which 230 million are in China, 60 million in India and 20 million in the world's 48 Least Developed Countries), figures for household access reveal the extent of the digital divide, with 84% of households connected in Europe, compared with 15.4% in the African region.
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