Where the Internet Lives: This Map Shows Which Countries Have Most People Online
Image: Ralph Straumann, Mark Graham, Oxford Internet Institute


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Where the Internet Lives: This Map Shows Which Countries Have Most People Online

What countries look like if they're sized proportionally to their number of internet users.

In this curious global map, the world is not as it seems. Just take a look at how massive Japan and the UK look in comparison to teeny-weeny Nordic countries Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

Instead of making a geographically proportionate map, Mark Graham and Ralph Straumann, researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, drew one up where countries are scaled based on the number of internet users they have.

The researchers visualised the data by using a hexagonal cartogram, with each little hexagonal shape roughly representing 470,000 internet users. Darker shades reveal higher rates of internet access among country populations in comparison to lighter shades. Countries with less than 470,000 internet users have been swiped off the internet-connected map altogether.

The map is an upgrade to one that the researchers made in 2011. This time around, Graham and Straumann visualised their map based on 2013 data gathered by the World Bank. As part of its Worldwide Governance Indicators project, the World Bank has been tracing the number of internet users per country since the 1990s.

Some interesting findings were that Asia has a whopping 1.24 billion internet users, making it home to 46 percent of the world's internet users. Latin America and the Caribbean have almost the same number of internet users as the United States, at 287 million versus 297 million people respectively. Despite there being many people who have never used the internet in China, the country still has an epic 600 million-strong internet population.

But what's most sobering is that even today, according to Graham, only a little over a third of humanity actually have access to the internet. The rest are still waiting to connect.