New Study Reveals 43% of Countries Have Substandard Electronic Infrastructure

Access to the internet is widely considered to be a basic human right, and as of 2023, approximately 67% of the global population is able to avail this right. While this might seem like a lot, it also suggests that one out of every three human beings doesn’t have internet access, which can limit their opportunities and make economic development harder than might have been the case otherwise.

This data comes from the International Telecommunication Union, and it revealed that there has only been a 1 percentage point growth rate in terms of internet access in 2023. By comparison, the growth rate stood at a hefty 3% annually over the past two years. One potential takeaway from this is that the growth of internet infrastructure is beginning to slow down.

Surfshark expanded on this further by providing details about the crumbling electronic infrastructure of the world. They did this by creating a Digital Quality of Life Index, and 121 countries were included in it after a period of extended analysis.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that 51 of these countries, representing 43% of the total, were found to have substandard electronic infrastructure. Another thing this report revealed was that 69 countries enjoy the highest standards in terms of electronic infrastructure.

One thing that bears mentioning is that the countries that have a lower level of quality in electronic infrastructure also have lower GDPs. On average, countries with poor electronic infrastructure had a GDP per capita of about $4,300. As for the countries on the upper end of the spectrum, they enjoyed a much higher average GDP per capita of $32,600 with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Unsurprisingly, Africa is falling behind the rest of the world in this all important metric. Based on the findings presented in Surfshark’s Digital Quality of Life Index, a staggering 96% of African nations had some of the worst electronic infrastructure in the world. In spite of the fact that this is the case, there is some hope on the horizon, since Kenya was the sole African nation whose e-infrastructure was rated higher than average.

What’s more, Kenya’s GDP per capita is extremely low, sitting at around $2,100. This is lower than the average GDP per capita of the countries in the low quality infrastructure segment. It is essential to factor this in because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up revealing how low income countries can manage to create comprehensive electronic infrastructure despite a lack of funds.

Europe enjoys the highest Digital Quality of Life of all, although 13% of its nations, mostly Balkan countries like Moldova and Bulgaria, were still included in the below average category. All in all, the slowdown in the growth rate of internet access does not bode well for the future, and actions must be taken to ensure the rate of progress increases.

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