I receive a newsletter straight to my inbox called ‘Internet World Stats News’. Every time there’s a change in the number of people worldwide accessing the internet, they send me an update. I find this helpful when I’m talking to people about the online population, especially seeing as Tinder Foundation is expanding our digital inclusion work to the international platform. The latest bulletin was particularly interesting, as we’ve reached a milestone – half of the world’s population are now online.
This is exciting news.
The record figure is quite astounding – there are now 3,675,824,813 internet users in the world, and that’s 50.1% of the world’s population. The below table, courtesy of Internet World Stats, shows exactly how many people are online and where.
Unsurprisingly, we can see that the area with the lowest percentage of internet users compared to population, is the Africa region with just 28.7%. Africa is the second largest continent in the world in both size and population, with 54 countries. As part of the developing world, it’s no secret that Africa is one of the poorest places, and therefore would have a lot to gain from digital literacy.
Here at Tinder Foundation we would love to extend our reach to digitally excluded people around the world. 50.1% of the global population might now be online but that means there are still 49.9% who are still offline. These people will often be experiencing a number of significant social challenges. One thing we know that once the infrastructure is fixed it will be the most socially disadvantaged whose finances and whose basic digital skills will still keep them offline.
Our partnership work in Ireland, our pilot in the Philippines, and our new project in the disadvantaged communities in Western Sydney, with partner Leep NGO, have shown that working with organisations in the heart of their communities works and that Learn My Way can support people not just confined in our country.
We have a few thousand people finding Learn My Way and logging in from all over the world, with interesting spikes in Kashmir, Ontario, and California, that we don’t know the reasons for.
According to the Internet World Stats news we’re halfway there. You can call me a glass half empty kind of person if you want, but reaching the other half of the world is where the real work begins.