The Internet is a vast mosaic of economic activity, ranging from millions of daily online transactions and communications to smartphone downloads of TV shows. The Internet is changing how we communicate, work, socialize, create and share information around the world. But little is known about how the web in its entirety contributes to global growth, productivity, and employment. While large enterprises and national economies have reaped major benefits from this technological revolution, individual consumers and small, upstart entrepreneurs have been some of the greatest beneficiaries from the Internet’s empowering influence.
In the visualizations below, you can explore how the usage of internet has developed over time on a national and global basis. By selecting the countries of your interest, you can see how the growth of the web has affected the selected country’s level of GDP and employment. Select several countries simultaneously to compare countries against each other.
As we increasingly rely on the internet, it is important that the rights we enjoy offline are also protected online. However, this is not the case in many countries of the world today. The freedoms of speech, information, privacy, and association enshrined in international covenants are fundamental to the upholding of liberal democratic values. Even in closed societies, technology can penetrate longstanding political and media restrictions, carving out a limited space for freedom online.
The visualization below features a ranked, country-by-country assessment of online freedom, measured by the organization Freedom House. We also visualize the number of internet users in the particular country in 2014.