From the AFRIK-IT mailing list I learned about this new post by Richard Heeks which, among other interesting insights, provides particularly striking (but not surprising) charts comparing mobile and Internet penetration in rich and poor countries. Richard provides the data he used to generate them via a shared google spreadsheet to encourage others to remix and analyze them to draw further conclusions. I like this approach!

Worldwide mobile, Internet and broadband data for 1998-2009 is now available online at:

Based on ITU data, this provides a compiled and cleaned-up spreadsheet of data; charts comparing technology penetration levels in countries grouped by income; 'digital gap' charts comparing richest vs. poorest countries; and 'digital lag' data showing how many years behind the richest countries are the poorest countries.

Other items available at - - include Google motion chart visualisations of mobile and broadband data over time, and data on worldwide ICT4D expenditure and the Indian IT sector.

To subscribe to the blog, visit:

For source data, visit:

Richard Heeks
Director, Centre for Development Informatics
University of Manchester, UK

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digital-gap-98-09-rich-poor.jpg48.34 KB

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