A recent study found that some 1.75 billion people across the world's 8 most prosperous countries either have no access to a broadband-level internet connection at home and on the go, or cannot afford one. Within those countries, some of the largest cities actually boast a surprising number and density of residents who don't have access to the kind of quality connection that would allow activities like telecommuting, streaming media, going through school online, and other potentially life-changing uses of an internet connection. India has it the hardest among countries, with around 853 million, or just over 68% of the total population, unconnected. Among specific cities, Sao Paolo, Brazil took the cake with over 4 million left without a good connection.
While Sao Paolo may be the most unconnected city, there are some other contenders that come close, and some are a bit surprising. One example is the iconic and densely urban sprawl of New York City, where about 19% of the population does not have personal access to a good broadband connection. New York is among a number of cities that face unique challenges beyond economic factors. While that city grapples with low-quality and expensive connections, Moscow has infrastructure nightmares making it difficult to connect some areas, London has a high number of citizens who simply don't see being connected as worth it. On the other hand, however, London was one of the most connected cities in the study, with only 7% of the total population left unconnected.
Over 68% of India is unconnected, leaving them squarely in the top position by density when it comes to countries. China nets a distant second with some 649 million unconnected individuals making up around 47% of the population. Brazil is third in that regard with 43%, despite Sao Paolo being the most unconnected major city. Russia is the fourth most unconnected country, wherein 39 million or so offline citizens bring the density figure to about 26%. The United States is close behind, with a 24% density figure powered by about 78 million unconnected citizens. Japan is in sixth place, with their roughly 20 million unconnected citizens making up around 16% of the total population. Seventh on the list is Germany, where there are only 10 million or so unconnected citizens, making up a flat 13% of the population. The United Kingdom rounds out the list, with a density figure just above 12.83% giving them a close shave to Germany's even 13%. That figure is made up of just over 8 million citizens.