Few are missing electricity




Most people in the world have some access to electricity!

More than 90% of people in the world have some access to electricity. However, most people are still in the dark about this fact! Read more here.

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About this misconception

The world is much more developed than most people realize. It happened during the past 50 years. Now, 90% of people have access to electricity. A world where 100% of people have electricity is no longer beyond imagination. But having some access doesn’t mean you have power all day. In Nigeria for example, there are lots of outages, and people with access to electricity usually have power 5 hours a day on average.

Why are people wrong about this?

When we think of poorer countries and villages we often underestimate the development in these places, not only for electricity.

Why is it a problem that people are wrong about this?

If we wrongly think most poor people don’t have any access to electricity today, we have missed the great progress since the 1990s and might think it’s unachievable to help everyone get access to electricity.

About this fact

Roughly 90% of the world’s population had some access to the electricity grid in their countries in 2021 according to The Energy Progress Report, which tracks the progress of SDG 7.

The term “access” is defined differently in all their underlying sources. In some extreme cases, households may experience an average of 60 power outages per week and still be listed as “having access to electricity”. The question, accordingly, talks about “some” access.

Global averages hide regional differences. In many areas, basically everyone has access to electricity, while in Sub-Saharan Africa only 46% of the population does. It is also much more common to have access to some electricity in cities where, worldwide, 97% have electricity, compared to those living in the countryside where only 84% have access to electricity.

A full list of sources and more information can be found in the question explanation in our Worldview Upgrader.


Free slideshow and video

Here you can download the video and slideshow. You can see the data behind this fact here. This teaching material is free to use and modify.  Please mention gapminder.org/2