More than half of global population now online: UN


You’re going to read the article titled “More than half of global population now online.” Before reading it, answer the following questions.
(1) What is the global population?
(2) What does “someone is online now” mean?
(3) What keywords do you think will appear in the article?
Match each of the following words with its definition.
(1) surpass ・
(2) reap ・
(3) dwindle ・
(4) skyrocket ・
・ (a) become less
・ (b) obtain or receive something
・ (c) increase quickly
・ (d) exceed, be greater than
Match each of the following words with an appropriate meaning.
(1) milestone ・ ・(a) a person who lives in a particular place
(2) hike ・ ・(b) a sharp increase
(3) inhabitant・ ・(c) a significant stage in the development of something




[1] Some 3.9 billion people are now using the Internet, meaning that for the first time more than half of the global population is online, the United Nations said Friday. The UN agency for information and communication technologies, ITU, said that by the end of 2018 a full 51.2 percent of people around the world will be using the Internet.
[2] “By the end of 2018, we will surpass the 50/50 milestone for Internet use,” ITU chief Houlin Zhou said in a statement. “This represents an important step towards a more inclusive* global information society,” he said, adding though that “far too many people around the world are still waiting to reap the benefits of the digital economy.” He called for more support to “technology and business innovation so that the digital revolution leaves no one offline.”
[3] According to ITU, the world’s richest countries have been showing slow and steady growth in Internet use, which has risen from 51.3 percent of their populations in 2005 to 80.9 percent now. The gains have meanwhile been more dramatic in developing countries, where 45.3 percent of people are currently online, compared to just 7.7 percent 13 years ago. Africa has experienced the strongest growth, with a more than 10-fold* hike in the number of Internet users over the same period, from 2.1 percent to 24.4 percent, the ITU report showed.
[4] The report also showed that while fixed-line telephone subscriptions* continue to dwindle worldwide, to a current level of just 12.4 percent, the number of mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions is now greater than the global population. And it found that mobile broadband subscriptions have skyrocketed from just four subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2007 to 69.3 today. There are currently a full 5.3 billion active mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide, ITU found.
[5] At the same time, the report said that nearly the entire world population, a full 96 percent, now lives within reach of a mobile cellular network, and 90 percent of people can access the Internet through a 3G or higher speed network.


* inclusive : 包括的な、あらゆる人々を受け入れる
* 10-fold : 10 倍の
* fixed-line telephone subscriptions : 固定電話の契約




Natural Speed

Slow Speed

What does each of the numbers below refer to? Choose from (a)-(c).
(1) 3.9 billion ・ ・(a) the percentage of people who live in the areas with access to a mobile cellular network
(2) 45.3 ・ ・(b) the percentage of people in developing countries who are now using the Internet
(3) 96 ・ ・(c) the number of people who are now using the Internet all over the world




Comprehension Check 1:Identify which of the following statements is True or False.

[A] According to the article, at the end of 2018, more than half of the world population was using the Internet for the first time.
[B] ITU chief Houlin Zhou believes the number of people with access to the Internet at the end of 2018 is satisfactory.
[C] The number of people in the world’s richest countries who use the Internet has doubled over the last 13 years.
[D] The number of mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions is larger than that of mobile broadband subscriptions.

Comprehension Check 2:Write the appropriate values in [A] to [F] below.

Percentage of Internet Users 2005 2018
the world’s richest countries [ A ]% [ B ]%
developing countries [ C ]% [ D ]%
Africa [ E ]% [ F ]%


Comprehension Check 3:What can be inferred from the article? Choose one from [1] to [3] below.

(1) The number of Internet users will increase more in developed countries than in developing countries.
(2) Fixed-line telephone subscriptions have been decreasing while more people have started to use a mobile-cellular telephone.
(3) Mobile-cellular telephones will not be used in the future because there will be a new digital revolution.





You are a reporter for a world-famous TV news channel. You are going to report on the article your news program. Your report should be one minute long. Prepare notes you will refer to while doing your report.




(1) Do you think more people in the world will use the Internet in the future?
(2) Do you think developed countries like Japan should help people in developing countries get access to the Internet?
(3) Do you think you will still be using the Internet 30 years from now?





An international meeting of high school students will be held soon. A representative from each country will give a presentation at the meeting. The theme of the presentation should be “What comes next? What can replace the Internet?”
You’re the representative for Japan. Write a speech and prepare a presentation. The presentation should be one minute long.


問題・英文(PDF)のダウンロードはこちら (146KB)

日本語訳はこちら設問の解答(PDF)のダウンロードはこちら (186KB)