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Almost One in Ten People Don’t Have Access to Electricity

Electricity is something that many of us take for granted and it only takes a brief power cut to remind us that we can’t live without it.

As it stands in 2024, around 90% of the global population have access to electricity, but for 770 million people (or 9.76%), life without electricity is normal.

In Europe and North America, 100% of residents have access to electricity but in certain countries in Africa and Asia, that is true for barely half of the population.

According to numbers published in the International Energy Agency’s 2021 World Energy Outlook report, the number of people without access to electricity changed little between 2019 and 2021, after falling an average of 9% a year between 2015 and 2019.

Years of steady progress was derailed due to the Covid-19 crisis and worsened the already low energy purchasing power of households in developing countries, said the IEA, which works with countries around the world to shape energy policies for a secure and sustainable future.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people without access climbed in 2020, marking the first annual increase since 2013 (to 77% from 74% pre-pandemic).

Meanwhile, in developing Asia, almost 1.2 billion people have gained access to electricity in since 2000, with 97% of the region having access in 2020 compared with 67% in 2000.

India was responsible for around two-thirds of this progress, with more than 99% of the population hooked up in 2019, thanks to the ambitious Saubhagya electrification scheme.

This map highlights the percentage of people who still don’t have access to electricity [click for interactive version]

World map with countries with little to no electricity access highlighted.Source: International Energy Agency (IEA)

Fortunately, access to electricity is hardly ever an issue for British businesses and neither is access to the best business energy prices.

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