India and China contributes 39% of global youth online subscriptions

320 million young people use Internet in India and China but there are challenges with respect to women and home broadband

India and China contributes 39 per cent of global youth online subscriptions as per new data released by ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs).

According to ITU, around 830 million young people are online, representing 80 per cent of the youth population in 104 countries and around 70 per cent of the world’s youth is online. In India and China alone, up to 320 million young people use the Internet.

In developed countries, 94 per cent of young people aged 15-24 use Internet compared with 67 per cent in developed countries and only 30 per cent in Least Developed Countries (LDC).

ITU statistics show youth continue to dominate Internet usage while mobile broadband subscriptions have grown more than 20 per cent annually in the last five years and are expected to reach 4.3 billion globally by the end of 2017.

“ITU’s ICT Facts and Figures 2017 shows that great strides are being made in expanding Internet access through the increased availability of broadband networks. Digital connectivity plays a critical role in bettering lives, as it opens the door to unprecedented knowledge, employment and financial opportunities for billions of people worldwide,” said ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao.

In developed countries, the proportion of households with Internet access at home is twice as high in developing countries whereas only 15 per cent of households in LDCs have Internet access at home. The number of fixed-broadband subscriptions has increased by 9 per cent annually in the last five years with up to 330 million subscriptions added.

There has been an increase in high-speed fixed broadband subscriptions parallel to the growth in the number of fibre connections. Most of the increase in high-speed fixed broadband subscriptions in developing countries can be attributed to China, which accounts for 80 per cent of all fixed-broadband subscriptions at 10 Mbps or above in the developing world.

The proportion of men using the Internet is higher than the proportion of women using Internet in two-thirds of countries worldwide. In 2017, the global Internet penetration rate for men stands at 50.9 per cent compared to 44.9 percent for women. The proportion of women using the Internet is 12 per cent lower than the proportion of men using Internet worldwide.

Mobile broadband is more affordable than fixed broadband in most developing countries. International Internet bandwidth grew by 32 per cent between 2015 and 2016, with Africa registering an increase of 72 per cent during this period, the highest of all regions.

Global telecommunication revenues declined by 4 per cent from $2 trillion in 2014 to $1.9 trillion in 2015. Developing countries, which are home to 83 per cent of the global population, generate 39 per cent of the world’s telecommunication revenues.


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