Tag Archives: digital divide

46% of the world’s population has an active mobile device

Cellular technology is fast becoming ubiquitous, even in poorer, less developed parts of the word. From The Economist:

3.2 billion people, or 46% of the world’s total population of 7 billion, have at least one active mobile (cellular) device.

Japan, Britain and the Nordic countries have about 9 out of 10 citizens using mobile technology, which is pretty mind boggling. And infants, prisoners and certain other parts of the population are unlikely to start using mobile devices. You also have to keep in mind that many of the people not using mobile technology in developed countries are older, less tech savvy citizens.

This is particularly true in the United States, where the digital divide is increasingly one of age, not income. In the U.S., 66 percent of people 18-29 have smartphones, while just 11 percent of those 65 and older have them. And in poorer areas, the first real personal computer a person may own will be a smartphone, not a traditional computer:

Cell phones fill access gaps – 10% of cell-mostly internet users point towards a lack of other access options as the main reason why they primarily use their phone to go online, with 6% saying that they do not have access to a computer and 4% saying that they do not have any other source of internet access beyond their mobile connection.