January 6, 2011

Technology Use Around the World

81%

Looking across 16 countries for which trends are available, the median percentage of people who own a cell phone has risen from 45% in 2002 to 81% in 2010.

The use of cell phones and computers in countries around the world has risen in the past three years, and dramatically so since 2002. In the 16 nations where trends are available, the median percentage of adults owning a cell phone was just 45% in 2002. By 2007, that number had risen to 70%, and in 2010 the median reached 81%. The increase in cell phone ownership was especially noticeable in Russia and Kenya, where cell phone use rose from less than one-in-ten in 2002 to nearly two-thirds in 2010. Cell phone ownership also rose rapidly in Jordan (up 59 percentage points from 2002 to 2010), Argentina (49 points), China (40 points) and Indonesia (38 points). The number of adults who say they use a computer at least occasionally has also risen in the 16 nations where trends are available. In these nations, the median percentage of computer users was just 32% in 2002, but rose to 39% in 2007 and 50% in 2010. In five of these nations, computer use saw a double-digit increase from 2007 to 2010: Russia, Argentina, Turkey, China and Kenya. Read More