Economic Development and the Internet

Internet access is associated with social and economic growth. The Internet functions as an enabling technology that assists individuals to be in contact across long distances and cultural divides, and distributes knowledge and data, furthering innovations that can be transformational. Incomes are a crucial obstacle to Internet access, with levels of Internet penetration frequently the lowest in regions with the lowest gross domestic product per person.

According to the International Telecommunication Union estimates published in a report from Facebook—State of Connectivity 2017: A Report on Global Internet Access—3.7 billion people were using the Internet in 2017, approximately 48% of the world’s population. This was up from 1.2 billion in 2007, which was just 18% of the world’s population. In the world’s least developed countries (those that ...

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