Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Where in the World are Young People Using the Internet?

New study measures digital natives in every country

According to a common myth, today’s young people are all glued to the Internet. But in fact, only 30 percent of the world’s youth population between the ages of 15 and 24 years old has been active online for at least five years. In South Korea, 99.6 percent of young people are active, the highest percentage in the world. The least? The Asian island of Timor Leste with less than 1 percent.

Digital natives as a percentage of total population, 2012
Courtesy: ITU

Those are among the many findings in a study from the Georgia Institute of Technology and International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The study is the first attempt to measure, by country, the world’s “digital natives.” The term is typically used to categorize young people born around the time the personal computer was introduced and have spent their lives connected with technology.

Nearly 96 percent of American millennials are digital natives. That figure is behind Japan (99.5 percent) and several European countries, including Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

But the percentage that Georgia Tech Associate Professor Michael Best thinks is the most important is the number of digital natives as compared to a country’s total population.

“That’s because a country’s future will be defined by today’s young people and by technology,” said Best, who co-led the study and, jointly with ITU, developed the model that calculated the worldwide figures. “Countries with a high proportion of young people who are already online are positioned to define and lead the digital age of tomorrow.”

The countries with the highest proportion of digital natives among their population are mostly rich nations, which have high levels of overall Internet penetration. Iceland is at the top of the list with 13.9 percent. The United States is sixth (13.1 percent). A big surprise is Malaysia, a middle-income country with one of the highest proportions of digital natives (ranked 4th at 13.4 percent). Malaysia has a strong history of investing in educational technology.

The countries with the smallest estimated proportion of digital natives are Timor-Leste, Myanmar and Sierra Leone. The bottom 10 consists entirely of African or Asian nations, many of which are suffering from conflict and/or have very low Internet availability.

However, the report notes that Internet usage has increased significantly in the developing world during the past five years. The ITU believes the digital native population in these regions will more than double by 2017.

Overall, there are approximately 363 million digital natives out of a world population of nearly 7 billion (5.2 percent).

“Youth are transforming our world through the power of information and communication technologies,” said Hamadoun Touré, ITU secretary-general. “The Youth Declaration developed at ITU’s BYND2015 Youth Summit in Costa Rica and presented to the UN General Assembly last week by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla calls for more measurable targets to monitor the digital empowerment of young people at national, regional and international levels. This first attempt to measure the number of digital natives around the world is a valuable first contribution to this effort.”

The model was developed using data collected by the ITU through surveys conducted around the globe. The study is part of the ITU’s Measuring the Information Society 2013 report, which was released on October 7.

Best is a faculty member in the College of Computing and Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. His research focuses on information and communication technologies for social, economic and political development, primarily in low-income countries in Africa and Asia.

Jason Maderer | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>