The year 2020 came to disrupt the status quo in virtually every aspect of daily life, but it also left some valuable lessons, among them the necessity of connectivity. In Mexico, the online population — which had already been steadily increasing in recent years — reached new heights amidst the coronavirus pandemic. As of 2021, the North American country counted more than 90 million internet users, that is, approximately 71 percent of its inhabitants, a penetration that, despite having soared, still falls behind a dozen Latin American economies.
Inequality: a main obstacle to connectivity
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed how the economic gap has affected connectivity in Mexico. In 2019, before the virus' outbreak, about 56 percent of Mexican households were estimated to be equipped with internet access. According to a survey conducted midway through that year, the primary reason why households did not have this service was a lack of financial resources. However, the magnitude of these inequalities became even more apparent as people were asked to carry out their day-to-day activities from home. In 2020, a survey conducted in the midst of the sanitary crisis revealed that lack of internet access was the number one reason for exclusion from distance education for students across the country, affecting over 80 percent of pupils in this condition.
Mexicans' soft spot for mobile internet
Mobile phones have been at the forefront of democratizing internet activity in Mexico, being the preferred internet browsing device for 9 out of 10 users, according to a 2021 survey. By the end of the year, the country is expected to have over 84 million mobile internet users, a figure that is bound to keep growing and that demonstrates the strong appetite of Mexicans for flexible connection solutions. Be it to access social networks, manage finances or search for information, internet users in Mexico appear to feel quite comfortable in carrying out any type of activity on their smartphones, using a variety of apps for this purpose.
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Research expert covering internet & gaming in Latin America and Spain