Monday, January 09, 2006

Fun with UN Statistics -- Internet Usage Per 100 Citizens 

The United Nations Statistics Division - Millennium Indicators has a table of Internet Usage per 100 Citizens by Country or Area. I found a number of interesting or surprising facts there. Feel free to take a guess at each question before checking the answers at the bottom of the post. Let me know how you did.
  1. Only one country got a perfect score in their latest reported measurement. Which country was it?
  2. What was the only country to experience a statistically significant drop in internet usage (lost more than 1% of previous year's users) between the last two years reported in the table, 2002-2003?
  3. Which two countries or areas were top of the heap?
And I may be over-crediting the UN here. It looks like these numbers are really all ITU estimates and the UN is the aggregator. Still, fun to browse this stuff sometimes.

If you are looking for raw data, there is a wealth of information available at the United Nations Statistics Division.


(no peeking now)

1) North Korea reported 0.00 internet users as of 2001. Of course, if they extended the precision of the results to 8 decimals, then the Glorious and Revered Leader's bedroom PC internet connection -- used only for researching important Juche topics of course -- would have shown up.

2) Cuba dropped from 1.42 to 0.87 users per 100 citizens between 2002 and 2003. Fidel is apparently jealous of Kim Jong Il's perfect score. We'll have to wait a few more years to see if he can completely eradicate internet usage on his island nation, but he's got a chance if he can just burn down all the tourist hotels.

3) The top two internet using countries or areas were: the Malvinas (Falkland Islands) with 76.00 and Iceland with 67.47 users per 100 citizens. I'm not sure these two hi-tech leaders have 100 citizens between them, but those are impressive scores nonetheless.

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