In 2017, the Earth's population reached 7.55 billion people, but not everyone was able to enjoy the benefits of a 21st-century existence. In fact, only 87 percent of those people had access to electricity. But there is major progress to report, according to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2018. The number of people with access to electricity increased by more than 120 million in 2017. This meant that by 2018, the number of people living without electricity dipped below the one billion mark for the first time ever. Leading the charge was India, which electrified all of its rural villages. Significant advancements were also made in countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Illuminating the Earth:
- In Indonesia, the household electrification rate has risen to 95 percent, up from just 50 percent in 2000. And in Bangladesh, 90 percent of citizens now have access to electricity, up from only 20 percent in 2000.
- However, the lack of electricity continues to exacerbate economic struggles for millions of others. For example, about 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa -- around 57 percent of the region's population -- still do not have access to electricity.
- The electrification of households in Europe and North America began in the early 20th century in major cities, particularly in areas served by electric rail. By 1930, 70 percent of the United States had access to electricity.