The Inclusive Internet Index 2021

The Inclusive Internet Index, commissioned by Facebook and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, returns for its fifth year. The index provides a rigorous benchmark of national-level Internet inclusion in 120 countries across four categories: Availability, Affordability, Relevance, and Readiness. This year’s index, which covers 96% of the world’s population, is published for a fourth year alongside the Value of the Internet Survey, which polled 5,823 respondents from 115 countries, to gauge perceptions on how Internet use affects people’s lives and livelihoods. This executive summary presents the index and survey highlights.

Key findings:

The pandemic has compelled people to use the Internet more and for a wider range of activities than ever before.

At the same time, the pandemic may have widened the divide between on- and offline populations.

Most countries saw gains in Internet inclusion, driven largely by improvements in Availability.

Deterioration in relevant content and online trust raises alarms, as the pandemic has made these factors more crucial than ever.

Gender parity is improving over the long term, but the gap is not closing fast enough in regions with the worst inequality.


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