Worldwide, access to electricity has been rising over the past two decades, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
About 15% of the world’s population, or 1.1 billion people, lacked access to electricity in 2014, compared to 25% in 1994, according to the most recent data from the World Bank.
The rise in electricity access is related to an increased rate of population growth in urban areas, according to the EIA. The amount of people living in urban areas rose to 53% in 2014, from 44% in 1994. “Urban areas tend to be more electrified, but most of the world’s population without access to electricity live in rural areas. In 2014, 27% of the world’s rural population did not have electricity access compared with 4% of urban populations.”
Between 1994 and 2014, areas with the greatest rise in electricity access were in Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia. “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,” according to the EIA.
In June, the EIA will host a panel discussion on the barriers and drivers of electricity access in developing countries. The discussion will take place at the 2017 EIA Energy Conference in Washington D.C.