If you were to guess whether Canada’s ICT economy was better or worse today than it was in 2011, which one would you pick?
Better right? It seems like a safe bet, after all technology has only become more of a part of our lives over the past few years and there’s been no bubble burst to reverse the trend. And you’d be right – all indicators show that Canada’s ICT sector continues to be on the upswing. But when you compare Canada to the rest of the world, we’re actually losing ground.
We first produced this infographic on Canada’s ICT sector in 2011 and just last week, we updated it with new statistics that we told you about in our story. Now we’ve updated our infographic to reflect that new data. (All the easier for you to share with.)
While it doesn’t feel good that Canada is now ranked below other countries in some of these metrics, this chart may tell the story of success of other countries more so than it does Canada’s failure. While mobile subscriptions increased from 23.8 million in 2009 to 29.5 million in 2014, Canada fell six spots in mobile subscribers. Similarly, broadband Internet subscriptions raised from 10.3 million in 2009 to 12.4 million in 2014, yet Canada fell three spots to 12th place.
If Canada was ahead of the curve on these metrics in 2009, then other countries have had time to catch up as we’ve hit our saturation limit. While there was much less resistance for the first 20 million Canadians to get a cell phone, there’s much more resistance to the remaining 15 million Canadians to also get one. In other words, as the number of mobile subscribers increases, the rate at which it is increasing is also slowing down. Meanwhile other countries where subscribing to mobile phones is a newer trend are doing so at a faster clip.
What it means for Canadians is that we may be a very wired nation in 2015, but as the rest of the world catches up and actually passes us by, that’s nothing special anymore. Here’s the updated infographic, graphics work by Anis Litim.