Smartphone users in emerging economies – especially those who use social media – tend to be more exposed to people with different backgrounds and more connected with friends they don’t see in person.
Many who use social media say they regularly see false or misleading content, but also view these platforms as offering new avenues for political engagement.
Whether in advanced or emerging economies, younger people, those with higher levels of education and those with higher incomes are more likely to be digitally connected.
This sortable table provides data for levels of internet use, smartphone ownership and social media usage from 2013 to 2017 by country.
As people in advanced economies reach the upper bounds of internet penetration, the digital divide continues to narrow between wealthy and developing countries.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, both economically and socially, technology adoption remains one of the defining factors in human progress. To that end, there has been a noticeable rise over the past two years in the percentage of people in the emerging and developing nations surveyed by Pew Research Center who say that they use the internet and own a smartphone.
In a few short years, the proliferation of mobile phone networks has transformed communications in sub-Saharan Africa. It has also allowed Africans to skip the landline stage of development and jump right to the digital age.
As more people around the world gain access to all the tools of the digital age, the internet will play a greater role in everyday life. And so far, people in emerging and developing nations say that the increasing use of the internet has been a good influence in the realms of education, personal relationships and the economy.
Technology usage is strongly correlated with national income across the countries surveyed. Countries with a higher GDP per capita generally have higher rates of smartphone ownership and internet and social networking use, while poorer countries tend to have lower rates of technology usage. Mouse over the countries below to reveal technology use and GDP per […]
Social networking has spread around the world with remarkable speed, and large numbers in many nations are posting their views about pop culture online, while community issues, sports and politics are also popular topics. Meanwhile, as cell phones have become nearly ubiquitous, people are using them in a variety of ways, including texting and taking pictures, and many smart phone users also access job, consumer and political information.
Cell phones are owned by large majorities of people in major countries around the world, and they are used for much more than just phone calls. In particular, texting is widespread in both wealthy nations and the developing world. Social networking is also popular in many nations around the globe.
In regions around the world – and in countries with varying levels of economic development – people who use the internet are using it for social networking. Other forms of technology are also increasingly popular: cell phone ownership and computer usage have grown significantly across the globe over the last three years, and they have risen dramatically since 2002. Consistently, these technologies are especially popular among young people.