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Visualizing the Top Countries, by Mobile Data Usage

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Global mobile data traffic per smartphone is forecast to hit 42 gigabytes per month by 2027—a staggering 16-fold increase compared to 2017.

This surge coincides with a rising number of internet users worldwide, in particular among middle-income countries. Notably, between 2018 and 2022, India saw a 170% increase in internet users alone.

The above graphic shows the countries with the highest mobile data usage around the world, based on data from the World Bank’s Digital Progress and Trends Report.

Which Countries Use the Most Mobile Data?

Here are the top 10 countries worldwide based on their monthly mobile data consumption:

RankCountryMonthly Mobile Data Usage per Capita
(Gigabytes, GB)

1 Curaçao131.3

2 Kuwait83.9

3 Suriname72.7

4 Finland59.1

5 Latvia52.7

6 Saudi Arabia44.2

7 Estonia42.4

8 Bahrain41.6

9 Austria35.1

10 Lithuania32.1

Data as of 2022.

The island nation of Curaçao ranks first overall, with 131.3 gigabytes of monthly mobile data usage per capita.

With a population of just 193,000, Curaçao surpasses all other nations likely due to a combination of factors. This includes an influx of over one million tourist arrivals in 2022, competitive mobile data plans, and a low penetration of fixed-line telecommunication systems and broadband internet.

For instance, in 2021, just 28 out of 100 people used fixed-line networks, while 88 out of 100 people used cellular-mobile services. Furthermore, the country boasts among the fastest and most reliable internet connections in the Caribbean thanks to its concentration of data centers and fiber optic cable infrastructure.

Following in second place is oil-rich Kuwait. In recent years, the country’s telecom industry has significantly improved, with 5G networks reaching roughly 97% of the population. Furthermore, the Kuwait government invested heavily in mobile platforms that allow people to settle traffic fines or schedule court dates via mobile apps.

Like Kuwait, Middle Eastern nations of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain rank highly on this list.

Top European Countries

As a country known for its advanced telecommunications infrastructure, Finland leads Europe in mobile data usage.

In fact, the country launched the first 6G test network worldwide. Given its role as a leader in communications networks and digital technologies, many companies use Finland to test new products and services before launching globally.

Joining Finland from Europe in this list are Latvia, Estonia, Austria, and Lithuania.

By contrast, the U.S. ranks in #34 overall in monthly mobile data consumption, at 13.4 gigabytes per capita. Part of the reason behind low usage may be that the cost of mobile data in America is among the highest in the world. For perspective, the average cost of one gigabyte of data in America was $6.00 in 2023, a steep jump from $0.20 in France or $3.48 in Japan.

The post Visualizing the Top Countries, by Mobile Data Usage appeared first on Visual Capitalist.


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