From almost 100 percent to less than 1 percent, the younger population of countries world wide don?t use the Internet as much as previously thought. Perhaps it?s the digital gaming population or social media users that push the impression that the younger generation is going to, well you know where, in a hand basket from too much computer time.

A study shows that only 30 percent of people around the world between 15 and 24 years old have been on-line active for at least 5 years. The two ends of the bell curve are South Korea at 99.6 percent and Timor Leste, an Asian island, barely tips the scale with less than 1 percent. Japan is at the high end with 99.5 percent. Not surprisingly, the United States is among the most users coming in at 96 percent.

However, these figures don?t provide the whole picture. The numbers quoted are taking in total global users. Another way of looking at the statistics is to take the number of users in a given country?s population. In Iceland, which has the largest number of people on line, 13.9 percent are within the age group studied. The study was carried out by the Georgia Institute of Technology and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Secretary General Hamadoun Touré of the ITU which provided data for the study

Georgia Tech Associate Professor Michael Best says the information is important because, ?a country?s future will be defined by today?s young people and by technology, Countries with a high proportion of young people who are already online are positioned to define and lead the digital age of tomorrow.? Best, a faculty member of the College of Computing and Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts concentrates his research primarily in low-income countries in Africa and Asia.

The wealth of a country plays into the availability of the Internet in general and the number of users therein having access to it. The United States, one of the richest countries in the world, has fewer ?digital natives? than five other countries. Only 13.1 percent of the younger generation in the US are Internet users. Countries of lesser means, those with low Internet availability, or those in conflict zones, put African and Asian nations on the bottom rungs of the list. Lowest ranked are Myanmar and Sierra Leone.

Examples of the percent of digital natives within the total population of a country are:
11.1United Kingdom
10.0Costa Rica

Data from Measuring the Information Society Report concluded that digital natives aren?t on the internet that much

ITU conducted world wide surveys and provided the data used in the model for the study. ?Youth are transforming our world through the power of information and communication technologies,? said Hamadoun Touré, ITU secretary-general.