A recent study by International Telecommunication Union indicates that Mexico is in sixth place among countries with the greatest number of “digital natives” in the world. The countries that preceded Mexico are China, United States, India, Brazil, and Japan.
In reality, what the study actually indicates is the number of people in each country born in the digital era. “Digital native” is a term made popular in 2011 by Marc Prensky, making an allusion to the way in which the population adapts to new technologies.
According to the study, these are the 10 countries with the most digital natives in the world:
- China: 75.2 million
- United States: 41.3 million
- India: 22.7 million
- Brazil: 20.1 million
- Japan: 12.2 million
- Mexico: 9.1 million
- Russia: 9.0 million
- Germany: 8.3 million
- Vietnam: 7.5 million
- United Kingdom 7.0 million
Mexico, in sixth place, has 9.1 million people born in the digital age, while China, number one, has 75.2 million. The gap between one country and another is important, but even more surprising is that China has almost double the amount of digital natives than the United States; something that can only be explained by taking into account the difference between the number of inhabitants of each country.
At first, the information derived from the study had my attention, but after a bit of reflection, I am not sure how relevant this is to a country such as Mexico, where the gap between education and the opportunities in development separate more than 40 million inhabitants in extreme poverty from the rest of the population, a segment which undoubtedly throws off the numbers.
As technology cannot achieve stabilizing itself as the engine that drives the development of the countries to equalize the living conditions of all of its population, some can be the first, others tenth, and others don’t even fall into the first 20, and rankings like this will continue to be lack real importance. An example is India, with more than two hundred billion inhabitants only having 22.7 million “digital natives”.
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