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How many people in the world have never used the Internet?

Answer: About 2.9 billion.

The UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recently released a report in which it found that 37 percent of the global population has never once gotten online. Of those, 96 percent live in developing countries.

At the same time, ITU’s report also found that the number of people using the Internet worldwide increased by more than 10 percent in 2020. This surge, which the report refers to as the “COVID Connectivity boost,” was the largest in a decade, most likely due to lockdowns and migration to a more digital world.

There are still a significant number of disparities among those who are connected, though. Of that 10 percent of new users, the report found that many got online infrequently and often did so with low connectivity speeds or shared devices. Additionally, only 39 percent of people living in rural areas use the Internet, compared to 76 percent in urban areas.