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Chart : Internet Penetration vs. Human Development Index, 2009

October 7, 2009  »  StatisticsNo Comment

Click to enlarge. Data source: Internet World Stats - and Human Development Report 2009 -

A direct correlation exists between HDI and the percentage of Internet users in African countries. The higher the HDI, the greater proportion of the population using the Internet.

HDI Range # African % of African Countries % Range Is African
Very High (HDI > 0.900) 0 0% 0%
High (0.900 > HDI > 0.800) 2 4% 4%
Medium (0.800 > HDI > 0.500) 26 52% 35%
Low (HDI < 0.500) 22 44% 92%
SUMMARY: Human Development Report 2009. Rep. United Nations, 2009. Web. 5 Oct. 2009. <>.

Source: SUMMARY: Human Development Report 2009. Rep. United Nations, 2009. <>.

The above table shows that nearly all African nations are the Medium or Low HDI ranges, as designated by the United Nations Development Project. Essentially the entire low range (HDI < 0.500) is comprised of African countries. According to the graph’s best-fit line, African countries in with Low Human Development Indices should have fewer than 5% of the population on the Internet. Similarly, countries with a Medium HDI should be 5-15% connected. The data supports this hypothesis. However, even the top-ranking African nations (falling within the upper half of the HDI list) only have penetration rates near the worldwide average of 25%.

See an in-depth table of Human Development Index vs. Internet Penetration Rate here.