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Men have greater access to internet than women in many countries

Staff Writer |
Internet access is growing worldwide, but there is still a long way to go before the entire world is completely wired, a study from the Pew Research Center has found.

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The study also noted that men have greater access to the internet than women in many nations.

According to the study, which surveyed 40 countries in 2015, a median of 67 percent of the respondents in these countries said they either use the internet occasionally or own a smartphone.

While smartphone ownership and internet usage continues to rise in emerging economies, advanced economies still have higher rates of technology use.

Among the countries surveyed, South Korea had the highest internet access rate of 94 percent, followed by Australia with 93 percent and Canada with 90 percent. Rates of more than 80 percent also occur in the U.S., UK, Spain, Israel and Germany.

Many large emerging economies also have at least 60 percent of the population using the internet. This includes Russia and Turkey with 72 percent each, Malaysia with 68 percent, China with 65 percent and Brazil with 60 percent.

However, internet access rates are lower in poorer countries, concentrated mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Nigeria has 39 percent access rate, while Indonesia has 30 percent and India has 22 percent.

The poorest countries surveyed had the lowest internet access rates, such as Burkina Faso with 18 percent, Pakistan with 15 percent and Ethiopia with 8 percent.

According to the study, there is a strong correlation between country wealth, as measured by per-capita GDP on a purchasing power-adjusted basis, and internet access.

Further, the study found that younger, more educated and higher-income people worldwide have greater access to the web. Also, men have greater access to the internet than women in many nations.

According to the study, the gender divide in internet usage appears in all of the sub-Saharan African nations surveyed. The largest gender gap among all countries is in Nigeria, where 48 percent of men use the internet versus only 29 percent of women, a difference of 19 percent.

Double-digit gender gaps are also seen in Kenya, Ghana, Vietnam, Tanzania, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, Japan, Burkina Faso, India and Uganda.

Statistically significant gender differences on internet access, in high single digits, are visible in major European nations, such as France, Germany and the UK.

Daily internet use is fairly common globally, with a majority of internet users in 34 of the 40 countries surveyed saying they use the internet at least once a day.

The Pew Research Center survey was conducted in 40 nations among 45,435 respondents from March 25 to May 27, 2015.


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