- 24% of the most-vulnerable adults worldwide had internet access in 2019
- Digital divides exist in developed and developing economies
- Households with most children were the least connected
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Although the internet is keeping many people connected to work, school and each other during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gallup analysis shows that more than half a billion of the world’s most-vulnerable people — who were struggling to meet even their basic food and shelter needs and didn’t have anyone to help them — didn’t have internet access either when the pandemic hit.
Results based on Gallup’s new Basic Needs Vulnerability Index reveal a glaring digital divide between the highly vulnerable and the least vulnerable. Fewer than one in four people worldwide (24%) in the High Vulnerability group said they had access to the internet through a computer, mobile phone or another type of device, compared with nearly three in four adults (74%) in the Low Vulnerability group.
World’s Most Vulnerable Lacked Internet Access Before COVID-19
% with access to the internet through a computer, mobile phone or other device
|World||Developing economies||Developed economies|
|% Access||% Access||% Access|
|Gallup World Poll,|