Escrito el 5 julio 2006 por en Economía Mundial

The digital divide between nations remains wide: a person in a high-income country is over 22 times more likely to be an Internet user than one in a low-income nation. There are signs, however, that information and communication technology (ICT) diffusion is slowly becoming more equal, according to UNCTAD’s newly released report: The Digital Divide: ICT Diffusion Index 2005.

The report ranks 180 countries and monitors how the digital divide is evolving. As expected, the top places are dominated by industrial nations from North America and Western Europe and by the Asian «tigers,» while many of the lower-ranking countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa. There are many reasons for the digital divide, but most are related to the primary cause: poverty.

In a high-income country, Internet affordability relative to income is over 150 times better than in a low-income nation. Even in lower-middle income countries, the cost of 20 hours of inferior Internet service is nearly one-third the average monthly income. It is only in the high-income countries that the cost of Internet service is low enough as to be broadly affordable for most households and small businesses. Even within those nations, digital divides exist between urban and rural areas, the two genders, age groups, and racial groups. There are roughly 1 billion people in about 800,000 villages in developing countries without any kind of connection to computer networks.

For the full report:

ICT connectivity rankings

Senegal 166
Nepal 167
Mozambique 168
Central African Rep. 169
Sierra Leone 170
Bangladesh 171
Guinea 172
Ethiopia 173
Benin 174
Solomon Islands 175
Chad 176
Mali 177
Burkina Faso 178
Congo 179
Niger 180

Luxembourg 1
United States 2
Iceland 3
Sweden 4
Denmark 5
Netherlands 6
Switzerland 7
Bermuda 8
Australia 9
United Kingdom 10
Finland 11
Hong Kong 12
Canada 13
Norway 14
New Zealand 15
Spain 31


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