77 million in Latin America and Caribbean cannot access Internet, IICA reports

Through joint research with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Microsoft, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) published a report that unveiled the digital divide in Latin American and Caribbean countries. The report, which studied 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries, found that 32% of the Latin American and Caribbean population, approximately 244 million people, have no Internet access. The study, which focused on 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries, indicated that while 71% of the urban population in Latin America and the Caribbean have connectivity options, only 37% of those in rural areas have Internet access. In this vein, the study is meant to ‘drastically reduce the gaps that are hindering development. The rural-urban connectivity gap is an issue that demands the greatest level of attention,’ according to IICA Director General Manuel Otero. The connectivity gap is also manifested in the difference between urban and rural areas with gaps of up to 40 percentage points. Yet, an accurate assessment of the true level of connectivity in rural areas was a challenge due to limitations in the availability of official statistics.