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3. Environment and multi-domain statistics (ITU)

3.3.3 Information society

ICT statistics

Data collection

ITU collects time series data on telecommunication and ICT statistics for over 100 indicators, through an annual questionnaire, which is sent to national government telecommunication authorities, as well as through online research. It also collects household ICT statistics, based on the internationally agreed core list of indicators developed by the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, through a questionnaire sent to National Statistical Offices. The data are carefully checked, verified and harmonized, before being disseminated, to enhance international comparability.


The ITU Yearbook of Statistics, has been published annually for almost three decades and is widely recognized as the world's leading source of ICT statistics. The electronic database, the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators, is available on a user-friendly CD-ROM and by electronic download at the ITU electronic bookshop. It provides annual time series dating back to 1960 for over 100 indicators and some 200 economies.

On the ITU website, some statistics are available for free downloading through the ICT Eye.

Part of the data are also published in ICT sections of publications of other international organizations, such as the UNDP Human Development Report, the World Bank World Development Indicators, the United Nations Statistical Yearbook, the UN Data portal and the MDG indicators available online.
Data are also disseminated via ITU's analytical reports, including the World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report (WTDR), regional reports and benchmarking publications, such as those featuring the ITU ICT Development Index (IDI) and ICT Price Basket.

Key Statistics and Analysis: see

Publications: see

Events/Meetings and technical assistance

ITU organizes meetings, such as the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators meeting (WTIM), on the collection and use of ICT statistics, specifically aimed at providing guidance for developing nations. ITU works closely with national regulatory authorities in providing advice on how to improve statistical systems. The ITU also works with national statistics offices and relevant regional bodies in organizing national and regional capacity building workshops on Information Society measurements.


ITU cooperates with regional and international organizations in the exchange of data and collaboration on joint publications. ITU is involved in international forums to measure the information society and to coordinate ICT statistics.

1. ITU is the lead agency responsible for defining and monitoring ICT indicators for the UN Millennium Development Goals project. ITU provides three specific indicators for measuring access to ICTs (fixed telephone lines, mobile cellular subscriptions and Internet use), on an on-going basis.

2. ITU is an active member of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, launched during UNCTAD XI in June 2004. Current partners include the ITU, the OECD, UNCTAD, UNDESA, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the UN Regional Commissions (UNECLAC, UNESCWA, UNESCAP, UNECA), the World Bank and EUROSTAT. The ITU is also a member of the Partnership's Steering Committee.

International cooperation:
See also:

Ongoing methodological work

ITU has contributed actively to the revisions of the Partnership core list of ICT indicators on infrastructure and access, and on access to, and use of, ICTs in households. The revised core list was presented to the UN Statistical Commission in February 2009 and will be published in early 2010.

A Manual for the collection of household ICT statistics is currently being finalized and was launched in early 2009. The objective of the Manual is to provide a practical tool for statisticians, in particular in developing countries, who are responsible for the collection of ICT data through household surveys. The Manual will be revised on an ongoing basis.

The definitions of ICT infrastructure and access indicators included in the ITU Handbook are continuously being revised, in consultation with ITU focal points in countries.

The updated ITU ICT Development Index (IDI), a benchmarking tool for countries, and a tool for tracking developments of the global digital divide, will be published in early 2010. The publication will also feature the updated ICT Price Basket, which has been calculated for three key ICT indicators (fixed and mobile telephony and Internet broadband).

Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Handbook

New work to be undertaken in 2010

The ITU Expert Group on Telecommunication/ICT indicators (EGTI) is revising the list of indicators collected by ITU,including their definitions. The work is expected to conclude in the first half of 2010 and the revised list will be applied by ITU as of its 2010 data collection.
The ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report (WTDR) 2010 will focus on a review of the ten targets identified at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The Report, which is being prepared in collaboration with other international organizations (UNESCO, UNDESA, WHO), will also propose precise statistical indicators for an improved monitoring of the WSIS targets. It will be released in May 2010.

Meetings to be organized in 2010

The 8th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Meeting (WTIM) will be held in the third quarter of 2010. This global event brings together representatives from telecommunication authorities and National Statistical Offices responsible for collecting ICT statistics.

A global ICT statistics conference, to be organized jointly between UNSD, ITU and UNCTAD, in cooperation with the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, and hosted by the Korean Statistical Office, will take place in June/July 2010.

A number of national and regional capacity building events will be organized throughout the year.

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