WASHINGTON, June 14, 2017 - Access to electricity has increased over the past two decades, says the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In 1994, some 25 percent of the world’s population lacked access to electricity, EIA data show.
That percentage was down to 15 percent, or about 1.1 billion people, by 2014, according to the most recent data from the World Bank. Part of the increased share of access to electricity is attributable to the faster rate of population growth in urban areas, EIA notes. The share of the world’s population living in urban areas grew from 44 percent in 1994 to 53 percent in 2014, the data show.
Urban areas tend to be more electrified, EIA says, but most of the world’s population without access to electricity live in rural areas. In 2014, 27 percent of the world’s rural population did not have electricity access compared with 4 percent of urban populations.
The agency says electrification rates grew the fastest from 1994 to 2014 in Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. EIA notes that investments to increase electricity access have significant implications for economic development and quality of life as well as the energy consumption and energy-related emissions for each country.