Global computer ownership

Computer ownership [Economist via Treehugger]
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19 Responses to Global computer ownership

  1. nobrainerdeals says:

    I am pretty shocked to see USA and Japan so low on the list. since this was pre Netbooks I wonder how the numbers will look in a year.

  2. Trent Hawkins says:

    the 2008 version from the same sours has Switzerland at the top followed by the US, then Sweden, Israel and finally Canada.

  3. Tubman says:

    I remember seeing figures earlier this year which showed Israel topping the charts with around .77 PCs per capita.

    As others have suggested, without knowing the sampling methodology, it’s hard to tell why the figures are what they are. So, here’s what the 2007 Telecommunication/ICT Indicators:ITU Infrastructure and access document has to say on the subject (in bold is what I think is rather telling in the case of Israel).

    A3. Computers per 100 inhabitants

    Computers measures the number of computers installed in a country. The statistic includes PCs, laptops, notebooks etc, but excludes terminals connected to mainframe and mini-computers that are primarily intended for shared use, and devices such as smart-phones that have only some, but not all, of the functions of a PC (e.g., they may lack a full-sized keyboard, a large screen, an Internet connection, drives etc). Computers per 100 inhabitants is obtained by dividing the estimated number computers in use by the population and multiplying by 100.

    An overall country figure for the number of PCs could be estimated by adding up the last five years sales.

    A surrogate for sales is PC import figures, data that is sometimes available from customs departments of national governments. of import data has limitations. Often, However, use only value rather than volume data is available. Also, if PCs were assembled in the country from imported parts, they would not be counted. Customs data would also not include undeclared imports. Additionally, some of the imported PCs may be later exported.

  4. pelrun says:

    is number two Canda or Canada?

    Yup, it’s a typo. It’s meant to be Canadia.

  5. Downpressor says:

    Japan coming in so low doesnt surprise me. This country is very far from the high tech wonderland that its often portrayed as.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just to clear up the confusion PaulR has created-

    The Israeli citizens population indeed has around 80% Jews and 20% non-Jews (Muslims and Christians). They are regular Israeli citizens, and live in Israel and enjoy all the rights of Israeli state.

    People living under the mandate of the Palestinian Authority are NOT Israeli citizens, and they are NOT counted against Israeli population. They have their own national entity, even though it does not have a formal army.

    This has nothing to do with Israel or the number of computers in it.

    The Israeli figure is high because Israeli society is 98% urban, and almost everyone have some kind of computer. Middle income families will have 2 computers – one per each kid, and higher income families will also have laptops.

  7. Trent Hawkins says:

    And Japan fell to #18 with 54.2 computers per 100 people this year.

  8. PaulR says:

    Does the ‘per 100 people’ from Israel include Palestinians? Could that account for the discrete jump in numbers from #2 to #1?

    Never, I’ve just been told that they’re not really people…

  9. Anonymous says:


    It counts ‘Palestinians’ who are citizens of Israel, it doesn’t count ‘Palestinians’ who are citizens of a separate nation-state of ‘Palestine’.

    You do realize that as a secular democracy, Arabs & Muslims who are Israeli citizens have all the rights and privileges as Jewish Israeli citizens, right? That the people who you like to pretend are living under some sort of Apartheid are in fact citizens of another country with its own passports, elected officials, defense forces? Palestinians don’t count as Israeli citizens the same way Canadians don’t count as U.S. citizens.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure the data is real. Obviously companies can make mistakes and editors miss small typos like “Canda”

  11. Marcel says:

    We’re 4th! Geez! This statistic is way too vague (and concerns 2006). How do they get to these figures? Is my 486 catching dust on the attic being counted? Is the surveillance network from our local equivalent of Homeland Security logging this very message I’m typing right now being counted?
    Media Players?
    What exactly defines something as a computer nowadays anyway?

    Nope, these stats don’t tell me nothing.

    But hey, whatdoIknow, I’m just a golem.

  12. oligore says:

    Calculators? Human Computers?

  13. mightymouse1584 says:

    is number two Canda or Canada?

  14. PaulR says:

    The typo is: Canda = Candiac. Montrealers will get the joke.

    Anonymous @9:
    “..are in fact citizens of another country with its own passports, elected officials, defense forces..”

    Not according to Matt Rosenberg:
    Quoting from the page:
    “6. Has a government that provides public services and police or military power.
    No. While the Palestinian Authority is permitted to provide local law enforcement, Palestine does not and can not have its own military.”
    — continuing —
    “..Thus, as you can plainly see, Palestine (nor the Gaza Strip nor the West Bank) is not an independent country; the two parts of “Palestine” are entities that, in the eyes of the international community, remain part of Israel.”

    Palestinians count as Israeli citizens the same way the First Nations People here count as Canadian citizens.

    Even Scotland prints its own money, which Palestine doesn’t – and it’s not a state.

    My question was prompted by my noticing this:
    According to,7340,L-3540634,00.html , 75.5% of the Israli population is Jewish.

    If you multiply the 122/100 figure that The Economist lists by 75.5%, you get 92.1 computers per 100 people. Which smooths out the curve considerably.

    According to and …:
    The GDP per inhabitant in Israel is $22,073 and Canada’s is nearly double at $42.738. The tax burden is roughly the same at 28.6% and 33.9% respectively.

    I suspect that Israel’s single-payer medicare system is similiar to Canada’s. Water here is essentially free, not so in Israel. Our defense budget is vanishingly small, Israel’s is a major concern. We do, however, spend WAY more on roads…

    Note the similarities and the one disparity between the table above and the list of internet connections per inhabitant here:
    Israel doesn’t appear on the list of top 15 Internet users per capita…

    Something doesn’t make sense.

    Sure it’s a bit of a troll, but we do need to gain access to the raw data, no? (I’ve tried, but I don’t know where they got ‘em.) If it turns out that Israel DOES have 37% more computers per person than Canada does, I’ll be impressed.

  15. LightningRose says:

    It would be interesting to know if that’s all computers, including privately owned, business, and government, or just those privately owned.

  16. acb says:

    I wonder why Israel has 1.5x as many computers per capita as the next five countries. Are they counting data centres? Is it some kind of kosher thing, like having separate refrigerators for meat and milk?

  17. pork musket says:

    It’s computers per 100 people, not 100 citizens. You can argue over the definition of citizen all you want but it’s not relevant to the data.

    And looking at the list of internet users per capita is similarly misleading. There are plenty of good reasons to have way more computers than internet users, education and military being a big big part of that. And anyway, having more computers per person shouldn’t translate into more internet users… unless of course you sit at down and use both of your 1.2 machines to surf boing boing at the same time.

  18. SuperMario__Galaxy says:

    Heh, one for work and one for porn?

  19. se7a7n7 says:

    Well I have 3 computers right now. So I’m doing my part.

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