World / Asia-Pacific

Global home Internet access continues growth

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-15 10:46

WASHINGTON - More than one third of adults worldwide had home Internet access in 2011, showing a trend of steady uptick each year, according to a global survey released Monday.

Thirty-two percent of adults worldwide in 2011 reported having home Internet access, up from 29 percent in 2010 and 25 percent in 2009, according to the Gallup survey conducted in 148 countries and regions.

In 48 countries and regions surveyed in 2011, half or more adults reported having home Internet access. In 23 nations and regions, the rate of home Internet access was 80 percent or higher.

Sweden and Singapore tied in boasting the highest home Internet access rate of 93 percent, followed by Denmark and the Netherlands, where more than nine in 10 reported having home Internet access.

The world's largest economies, as well as major emerging economies, fell between the extremes of home Internet access worldwide. The United States, the world's largest economy, was only 23rd on the list, with 80 percent of American adults reporting Internet access. Japan and Germany, the third and fourth largest economies, are at 73 percent and 77 percent, respectively.

Among the emerging countries, Russia had the highest home Internet access rate of 51 percent, followed by Brazil's 40 percent and China's 34 percent. South Africa and India were at the lower end with 16 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

In 41 nations, fewer than 10 percent respondents said they had Internet access at home, including less than 1 percent in Burundi, Guinea, Mali and Madagascar. Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Niger and Cambodia were found to have only 1 percent home Internet access.

Economic development is the key to expanding home Internet access worldwide, and a nation's home Internet access coverage has positive implications for its economic strength, as it can help promote the education of its youth, the productivity of its workers, and the civic engagement of its citizens, Gallup said in a report.

Mobiles phones, however, are helping to fill the void in many countries and will increasingly do so as access to smartphones and tablet devices powered by mobile phone networks continues to grow worldwide, Gallup said.

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