1.3 billion are living

Living in

In 2012, nearly 25 percent of the population of all developing countries had no electricity

in the dark

the dark

Around the world, 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity. More than 600 million are in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than 300 million are in India alone. Providing electric power to these unserved populations will cause a significant jump in demand in the coming decades. India has promised to place an emphasis on renewable sources of energy; there are programs in Africa to create “mini-grids” using renewables. But as electricity-generating capacity inevitably grows ever larger, India and the other countries of the developing world will not be able to avoid the increased use of fossil fuels as well — and especially coal. New coal-burning power plants will emit less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases than their predecessors, but the strain on the atmosphere will be substantial nonetheless. Read the related story.

The pie charts below show only developing countries, and the gap between those who have access to electricity and those who do not have access:

Dark-blue pie slice: Percentage of the population that does not have access to electricity

Pies are scaled proportionately to each country’s 2012 population

Outlined pie: 100 percent of the population has access to electricity

Dark-blue pie slice: Percentage of the population that does not have access to electricity

Outlined pie: 100 percent of the population has access to electricity

Scale of pies vary by region or continent.

ASIA

Nearly 2 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

Of all countries, India has the largest population that does not have access to electricity — 304 million people. While 94 percent of Indians living in urban areas have electricity, only 67 percent in rural areas have power. North Korea, Burma and Cambodia have it even worse. About 70 percent of their total population does not have electricity.

622 million

MONGOLIA

73%

NORTH

KOREA

of 3.6 billion do not have electricity

China 0.2%

PAKISTAN

NEPAL

BANGLADESH

VIETNAM

BURMA

LAOS

69%

69%

24%

PHILIPPINES

THAILAND

67%

CAMBODIA

India

BRUNEI

MALAYSIA

SINGAPORE

SRI LANKA

INDONESIA

MIDDLE EAST

Nearly 1 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

Nearly 80 percent of people without electricity in the Middle East live in Yemen, a country that is one of the poorest in the Arab world and is chronically affected with prolonged power outages.

SYRIA

IRAQ

IRAN

LEBANON

KUWAIT

JORDAN

BAHRAIN

QATAR

UNITED ARAB

SAUDI

EMIRATES

ARABIA

17.7 million

OMAN

56%

of 214.8 million do not have electricity

13.8 million of Yemen’s 24.9 million people do not have electricity

LATIN AMERICA

Fewer than 1 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

Haiti remains a regional outlier, with only 29 percent of its population — mostly concentrated in and around its capital, Port-au-Prince — having access. Haitians who have electricity receive power an average of five to nine hours per day.

71%

CUBA

HAITI

GUATEMALA

HONDURAS

DOMINICAN

REPUBLIC

NICARAGUA

JAMAICA

EL

SALVADOR

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

PANAMA

COSTA

RICA

VENEZUELA

COLOMBIA

ECUADOR

PERU

BRAZIL

BOLIVIA

23.2 million

PARAGUAY

of 466.1 million do not have electricity

URUGUAY

ARGENTINA

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

7 out of 10 people do not

have access to electricity

Electrification varies widely between rural and urban areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, the rural electrification rate is just 14 percent, compared with 60 percent in urban areas.

LIBERIA

NIGERIA

TANZANIA

CONGO

622.6 million

MALAWI

of 1.1 billion people in Africa do not have electricity

MADAG.

In 38 of 49 sub-Saharan countries, 50 percent of the population or greater do not have electricity:

0

50%

100%

Liberia

South Sudan

Cen. Afr. Rep.

Chad

Sierra Leone

Malawi

97.8%

97.4

95.2

94.4

94.3

92.4

NO ELECTRICITY

Burundi

Rwanda

Uganda

Guinea

Somalia

Eritrea

Madagascar

Congo

Niger

Burkina Faso

Kenya

87.9

87.8

87.6

86.9

86.7

85.9

85.2

85.1

83.4

83.2

81.1

Mauritania

Ethiopia

Guinea-Bissau

Tanzania

Swaziland

Lesotho

Togo

Benin

Zambia

79.4%

76.4

75.8

74.6

73.1

72.9

72.6

71.6

70.3

Namibia

Ivory Coast

Mali

Gambia

Congo Republic

Angola

Sudan

69.8%

69.7

67.0

66.4

65.3

64.4

64.2

Mozambique

Zimbabwe

Nigeria

59.8%

56.3

55.2

Note: Island countries Sao Tome and Principe (56%) and Comoros (54.5) are not listed.

Dark-blue pie slice: Percentage of the population that does not have access to electricity

Pies are scaled proportionately to each country’s 2012 population

Outlined pie: 100 percent of the population has access to electricity

ASIA

Nearly 2 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

India has the largest population of all countries that does not have access to electricity — 304 million people. While 94 percent of Indians living in urban areas have electricity, only 67 percent in rural areas have power. North Korea, Burma and Cambodia have it even worse. About 70 percent of their total population does not have electricity.

622 million

MONGOLIA

of 3.6 billion people do not have electricity

NORTH

KOREA

73%

China 0.2%

18 million of 24.8 million people do not have electricity

3 million out of 1.35 billion people live without electricity

32%

NEPAL

PAKISTAN

BURMA

24%

40%

LAOS

304 million do not have electricity

69%

VIETNAM

PHILIPPINES

BANGLADESH

THAILAND

30%

India

67%

CAMBODIA

BRUNEI

MALAYSIA

24%

SINGAPORE

INDONESIA

SRI LANKA

MIDDLE EAST

Nearly 1 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

IRAQ

SYRIA

IRAN

LEBANON

KUWAIT

JORDAN

17.7 million

BAHRAIN

QATAR

UNITED ARAB

SAUDI

EMIRATES

ARABIA

of 214.8 million people do not have electricity

OMAN

YEMEN

56%

Nearly 80 percent of people without electricity in the Middle East live in Yemen, a country plagued with prolonged power outages.

13.8 million of Yemen’s 24.9 million people do not have electricity

LATIN AMERICA

Fewer than 1 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

71%

7.3 million of Haiti’s 10.3 million

CUBA

people have no electricity

GUATEMALA

HONDURAS

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

NICARAGUA

JAMAICA

EL SALVADOR

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

COSTA RICA

COLOMBIA

PANAMA

VENEZUELA

ECUADOR

PERU

BRAZIL

23.2 million

BOLIVIA

of 466.1 million people do not have electricity

PARAGUAY

Haiti remains a regional outlier, with only 29 percent of its population — mostly concentrated in and around its capital, Port-au-Prince — having access. Haitians who have electricity receive power an average of five to nine hours per day.

URUGUAY

ARGENTINA

NORTH AFRICA

SUB-SAHARAN

Fewer than 1 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

7 out of 10 people do not

have access to electricity

TUNISIA

MOROCCO

EGYPT

LIBYA

ALGERIA

79%

67%

83%

MAURITANIA

MALI

NIGER

64%

SUDAN

94%

CHAD

SENEGAL

86%

ERITREA

BURKINA FASO

BENIN

66%

72%

GAMBIA

GUINEA

DJIBOUTI

76%

83

CENTRAL

AFRICAN REP.

GUINEA-

S. SUDAN

87

55%

NIGERIA

BASSAU

95%

97

ETHIOPIA

SIERRA LEONE

76%

TOGO

94%

UGANDA

73%

LIBERIA

CAMEROON

IVORY

GHANA

98%

RWANDA

COAST

EQUATORIAL

88

SOMALIA

70%

GUINEA

87%

81

88

GABON

KENYA

85

88

CONGO REP.

75

CONGO

BURUNDI

TANZANIA

70%

ZAMBIA

622.6 million

ANGOLA

MALAWI

64%

92

MADAGASCAR

56%

ZIMBABWE

85

of 1.1 billion people do not have electricity

NAMIBIA

MOZAMBIQUE

70%

BOTSWANA

60%

SWAZILAND

In sub-Saharan Africa, the urban electrification rate is 60 percent, compared with only 14 percent in rural areas. At least 50 percent of the entire populations in 38 of the 49 sub-Saharan countries live without electricity — worse off, 51.4 million of 54.3 million people (94.7 percent) living in Liberia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Sierra Leone and Malawi do not have electricity.

73%

LESOTHO

73%

SOUTH AFRICA

Dark-blue pie slice: Percentage of the population that does not have access to electricity

ASIA

622 million

of 3.6 billion people do not have electricity

Nearly 2 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

Of all countries, India has the largest population that does not have access to electricity — 304 million people. While 94 percent of Indians living in urban areas have electricity, only 67 percent in rural areas have power. North Korea, Burma and Cambodia have it even worse. About 70 percent of their total population does not have electricity.

MONGOLIA

NORTH

KOREA

73%

18 million of 24.8 million people do not have electricity

China 0.2%

3 million out of 1.35 billion people live without electricity

32%

NEPAL

PAKISTAN

BURMA

24%

40%

304 million do not have electricity

LAOS

69%

VIETNAM

PHILIPPINES

BANGLADESH

THAILAND

30%

India

67%

CAMBODIA

BRUNEI

MALAYSIA

SINGAPORE

24%

INDONESIA

SRI LANKA

NORTH AFRICA

SUB-SAHARAN

Fewer than 1 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

7 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

TUNISIA

MOROCCO

EGYPT

LIBYA

ALGERIA

79%

67%

83%

MAURITANIA

MALI

NIGER

64%

SUDAN

94%

CHAD

SENEGAL

86%

ERITREA

BURKINA FASO

BENIN

66%

72%

GAMBIA

GUINEA

DJIBOUTI

76%

83

CENTRAL

AFRICAN REP.

GUINEA-

S. SUDAN

87

55%

NIGERIA

BASSAU

95%

97

ETHIOPIA

SIERRA LEONE

76%

TOGO

94%

UGANDA

73%

LIBERIA

CAMEROON

SOMALIA

IVORY

GHANA

98%

RWANDA

87%

COAST

EQUATORIAL

88

70%

GUINEA

81

88

KENYA

GABON

AFRICA

85

88

CONGO REP.

75

622.6 million

CONGO

BURUNDI

TANZANIA

70%

ZAMBIA

ANGOLA

of 1.1 billion people do not have electricity

MALAWI

64%

92

MADAGASCAR

56%

ZIMBABWE

85

Electrification varies widely between rural and urban areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, the urban electrification rate is 60 percent, compared with only 14 percent in rural areas. At least 50 percent of the entire populations in 38 of the 49 sub-Saharan countries live without electricity — worse off, 51.4 million of 54.3 million people (94.7 percent) living in Liberia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Sierra Leone and Malawi do not have electricity.

NAMIBIA

MOZAMBIQUE

70%

BOTSWANA

60%

SWAZILAND

73%

LESOTHO

73%

SOUTH AFRICA

MIDDLE EAST

IRAQ

SYRIA

IRAN

LEBANON

KUWAIT

Nearly 1 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

BAHRAIN

JORDAN

QATAR

UNITED ARAB

SAUDI

17.7 million

EMIRATES

ARABIA

of 214.8 million people do not have electricity

OMAN

YEMEN

56%

Nearly 80 percent of the people without electricity in the Middle East live in Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world. Yemen often suffers from prolonged power outages.

13.8 million of Yemen’s 24.9 million people do not have electricity

71% 7.3 million of Haiti’s 10.3 million

people have no electricity

CUBA

CENTRAL AMERICA

CARIBBEAN

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

GUATEMALA

HONDURAS

JAMAICA

NICARAGUA

EL SALVADOR

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

COSTA RICA

COLOMBIA

PANAMA

VENEZUELA

ECUADOR

LATIN AMERICA

BRAZIL

PERU

BOLIVIA

Fewer than 1 out of 10 people do not have access to electricity

SOUTH AMERICA

PARAGUAY

23.2 million

of 466.1 million people do not have electricity

URUGUAY

Haiti remains a regional outlier, with only 29 percent of its population — mostly concentrated in and around its capital, Port-au-Prince — having access. Haitians who have electricity receive power an average of five to nine hours per day.

ARGENTINA

Published Nov. 6, 2015; updated Nov. 10, 2015.

Note: African island countries Sao Tome and Principe (56% without electricity), Comoros (54.5), Cabo Verde (6%), Seychelles (3%) and Reunion (1%) are not shown.

Sources: International Energy Agency’s electricity database and methodology, World Bank, Worldwatch Institute, NASA

Editor’s picks

As appetite for energy soars, the world keeps turning to coal

Despite growing attention to cleaner energy, two-thirds of the world’s electricity is still produced by burning fossil fuels, mostly coal — a proportion that hasn’t budged for 35 years.

Video: Why the world still uses coal

Coal is one of the world’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and a major climate change contributor. So why are we still using it? For the same reasons we always have: it’s cheap, plentiful, easy to transport and easy to get.