Most Vulnerable Lack Internet Lifeline – Gallup Poll

Most Vulnerable Lack Internet Lifeline – Gallup Poll

Story Highlights

  • 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
High vulnerability 24 21 77
Moderate vulnerability 46 42 84
Low vulnerability 74 68 91
Gallup World Poll,
Source…

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