Study says smartphone and internet usage continues to climb
According to a Pew Research Center study, more people in developing nations are connected to the internet
While more advanced economies use internet and high-tech gadgets at the highest rate, Pew reports that the emerging world has been catching up in the last two years.
In 2013, a median of 45 percent across 21 emerging and developing countries reported using the internet every once and a while, or at the very least owning a smartphone. Just last year, that figure rose to 54 percent, with much of that increase coming from emerging economies such as Malaysia, Brazil and China.
As far as smartphone ownership goes, the digital divide between less advanced economies and developed economies is 31 points in 2015. However, smartphone ownership rates in emerging and developing nations are rising, according to Pew. Overwhelming majorities in almost every nation that was surveyed reported owning some form of mobile device, even if they are not considered “smartphones.”
In Philadelphia, it is not too uncommon to see people using their phones, no matter the model, to connect to the internet. While internet access has been rising in emerging and developing nations, those worldwide who have internet access are strong users. Roughly three-quarters of adult internet users across the 40 countries surveyed in 2015 say that they use the internet at least once a day, with majorities in many countries saying that they access the web “several times a day.”
Overall, Pew says that internet users in emerging and developing countries are more likely to use social media compared with those in the developed world. Which is no surprise, really. It is important to remember, however, that internet access rates in the emerging and developing world still trail those of advanced economies, so the number of people participating in social networking is still smaller as a share of the total population in many of these emerging countries.
Internet and smartphone rates are also related to overall country wealth. Richer nations tend to have higher internet access rates and higher reported smartphone ownership.