48a. Personal computers in use per 100 population



Personal computers (PCs) are computers designed to be operated by a single user at a time.


Goal/target addressed

Goal 8. Develop a global partnership for development.

Target 18. In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communication technologies.



This indicator and indicator 47 are important tools for monitoring progress towards Goal 8, because effective communication between those involved in the development process is not possible without the necessary infrastructure. Personal computers and telephone lines allow people to exchange experiences and learn from each other, enabling higher returns on investment and avoiding problems of duplication or missing information. The use of information and communication technologies can make governments more transparent, thereby reducing corruption and leading to better governance. It can help people in rural areas find out about market prices and sell their products at a better price. It can also overcome traditional barriers to better education by making books available online and opening the door to e-learning.


Method of computation

The total number of PCs in a country is divided by the population and multiplied by 100.


Data collection and source

Data are based largely on responses to a questionnaire that the International Telecommunication Union sends to government telecommunication agencies. In the absence of data from countries, the number of PCs is estimated using industry sales data or PC imports data.



Yearbook of Statistics, annual, International Telecommunication Union (www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict).

World Telecommunication Indicators Database, annual, International Telecommunication Union (www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict).


Disaggregation issues

Data for PCs come from administrative and operational records that do not disaggregate the data.


Periodicity of measurement



Comments and limitations

Very few countries have a precise measure of the number of PCs. For some small developing economies, neither sales nor import data are available. PC data are quite recent, so long time series exist only for developed countries and major developing countries.



International Telecommunication Union.