#YouthStats: Information and Communication Technology


  •  In 2013 people ages 24 and younger accounted for 42.4% of the world’s population but 45% of Internet users. [ITU (International telecommunication union), ICT Facts and Figures: The World in 2011, 2011, http://goo.gl/7kh8gm]
  • 45% of the world’s internet users are below the age of 25, and 30% of the world’s youth have been active online at least five years.  [ITU, ICT Facts and Figures: The World in 2011, 2011, http://goo.gl/7kh8gm]
  • Young people all over the world are the most active users of ICTs.  [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • ICT  has played a central role in young people’s rise to prominence on a global scale. It has helped them to mobilize and collaborate, and it has given them a voice where before they had none. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Worldwide, youth are nearly two times more networked than the global population as a whole. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • In most of the world’s least developed countries, young people are nearly three times more likely than the general population to be using the Internet. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]

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Digital Native

  • A “digital native” is defined as a youth, aged 15-24 inclusive, with five years or more experience using the Internet. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • While 30% of the youth population are digital natives today, within the next 5 years the digital native population in the developing world is expected to double. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • In 21 countries (mainly high-income and developed), more than 90% of 15-24 year olds have been online for at least 5 years. The figure varies significantly according to region and economic level, between 9.2% in the Africa region and 79.1% in Europe. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Similarly, 8 out of 10 young people in Europe have 5 or more years of experience on the Internet, while only about one in 10 young people in Africa have had similar network experience. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Overall, as secondary and tertiary school enrolment levels go up, so too does the percentage of digital natives. This suggests that secondary and tertiary education plays a positive role in enhancing levels of digital nativism, although this may also be the outcome of additional factors. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • In remote schools, Internet access provides the vehicle for online learning and access to educational content. In addition to the educational benefits resulting from the use of ICTs in schools, in remote and rural areas schools are indeed often the only place where young people can use the Internet. [ITU, 2014, http://bit.ly/1xrVMi8]
  • Adolescent girls’ access to technology is limited by the societies, communities and families in which they live. [Plan International, 2012, http://bit.ly/1xcazjc]

PDF Version: Youth Stats: ICT