May 262014

In a recent post – Mexico’s internet connections and e-commerce – we looked at how 35.8% of Mexican households now have computers, 30.7% are now connected to the internet, and at the very rapid rise of e-commerce over the past few years.

How does internet access in Mexico compare to other countries? Comparative studies show that Mexico lags well behind almost all major countries in terms of internet access. Mexico’s rate of 30.7% of households with internet access compares poorly with other countries in Latin America such as Brazil (37.8%), Chile (37.8%) and Argentina (34.0%).

Among OECD member states, Mexico ranks bottom in terms of internet access. South Korea ranks top, with 97.2%. The Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark all have rates over 90%. Canada has a rate of 78.4%, the USA 71.1% and Japan 67.1%. The lowest ranking European countries are Turkey (41.6%), Greece (50.2%) and Portugal (58.0%).

Within Mexico, the rate of internet access varies widely from one state to another (see graph).

Percentage of households with internet access

Percentage of households with internet access. Source: INEGI (2014)

The disparities are evident from the graph, but the pattern becomes much clearer when the data are grouped and mapped:

Internet access, 2013

Pattern of internet access, 2013. Data: INEGI. Credit: Geo-Mexico

The north-south divide in Mexico, that we have frequently referred to in previous posts, is immediately evident (with the notable exception of the easternmost state of Quintana Roo). Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a close correlation between GDP/capita in different states and their internet access.

Discussion question:

What other factors are likely to influence rates of internet access? To support, or challenge your ideas, try using Geo-Mexico’s map index to find maps to compare with the map of internet access.

Source of data:

  • Estadísticas a Propósito del Día Mundial de Internet” (pdf file) (INEGI 2014)

Related posts:

  2 Responses to “The information divide in Mexico: internet access by state”

  1. Nada mas falso que un billete de a dos pesos, en México la gran mayoría de sus habitantes carecen de esta tengnológia llamada internet, e intranet en Las Costas de Guerrero y Oaxaca Telmex ofrece el servicio pero parece serie de focos navideños se prende y se apaga y como va en casi todos los estados salvo Tel Nor. En Tijuana su servicio es regular.
    En donde al parecer funciona es donde las empresas de Cable Brindan un paquete de tres Tv. Tel. y Internet lo demás es un servicio muy viciado y por demás mentiroso podemos señalar que eso si Telmex exige pago inmediato y es pésimo su funcionamiento en cuestión al Internet.

  2. Thanks for your insightful comments. Based on personal experience traveling around Mexico, I would certainly not disagree with you. The quality of service is very variable indeed, and Mexico still rates well below most of its immediate competitors.

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