Firefox pledge map – pledges as a % of population

(sorry this post was initially messy – when you get off a transatlantic red-eye and have fifteen minutes to copy and paste in your post, things are bound to get ugly. It should be all cleaned up now)

Mozilla kindly sent me a preliminary data set of download pledges. This data is about 2 days old but should still be more or less instructive. I hope to get more up to date data soon and will update accordingly.

According to the raw data the 20 countries where the most people – as a % of the population – pledged to download Firefox. Population figures are based on those available on Wikipedia.

Country % of the pop that pledged to download
Anguilla 5.78
Falkland Islands 2.00
Montserrat 0.66
Andorra 0.60
Faeroe Islands 0.40
Iceland 0.35
Liechtenstein 0.27
Slovenia 0.26
Greenland 0.25
Estonia 0.25
Poland 0.23
Palau 0.20
Aruba 0.19
Netherlands 0.17
Maldives 0.17
Malta 0.17
Antigua And Barbuda 0.16
Latvia 0.15
Turks And Caicos Islands 0.15
Lithuania 0.15

On the one hand it is no surprise that many of these – about half – are small island countries with populations under 100,000 people. Moreover, 14 have populations under 500,000. Consequently, for many of these countries even a small number of absolute pledges translates into a high total percentage of the population. But I also think this says something about the economics of open source and the internet. It enables small isolated and sometimes neglected parts of the world economy to get effective, top of the line software for free, software that in turn enables them to participate in the global economy.

But things get more interesting if we strip out the countries with populations under 500,000. This picture eliminates the small countries (which are, in some ways, outliers) and allows us to focus on the rest of the world (167 countries made this list). Here are the results for the top and bottom 20 countries.

Top 20 (with population greater than 500,000
Country Core or Gap % of the pop that pledged to download
Slovenia Gap 0.263
Estonia Core 0.248
Poland Core 0.235
Netherlands Core 0.170
Latvia Core 0.154
Lithuania Core 0.146
Finland Core 0.144
Norway Core 0.143
Belgium Core 0.139
Portugal Core 0.131
Albania Gap 0.130
Denmark Core 0.126
Singapore Gap 0.125
Croatia Gap 0.124
Hungary Core 0.123
Canada Core 0.110
Chile Core 0.107
New Zealand Core 0.109
France Core 0.106
Australia Core 0.105
Bottom 20 (with population greater than 500,000
Country Core or Gap % of the pop that pledged to download
Ghana Gap 0.001
Burundi Gap 0.001
Kenya Gap 0.0006
Chad Gap 0.0006
Uganda Gap 0.0005
Burkina Faso Gap 0.0005
Mali Gap 0.0005
Rwanda Gap 0.0005
Cameroon Gap 0.0005
Guinea Gap 0.0004
Mozambique Gap 0.0004
Bangladesh Gap 0.0004
Malawi Gap 0.0004
Niger Gap 0.0004
Myanmar Gap 0.0003
Sudan Gap 0.0003
Nigeria Gap 0.0002
Tanzania Gap 0.0002
Dem. Republic Of The Congo Gap 0.0002
Ethiopia Gap 0.0001

I admit that when I wrote the post on Monday about the correlation between the pentagon’s new map and the firefox pledge download map I thought that once the per capita data was analyzed it would sharply change the outcome. The reality is, it doesn’t. Core countries are far and away dominant on the list. In the bottom half of the list (84 of the 167 countries with populations over 500,000) only 4 countries are in the core: India, China, Mongolia and South Africa. (of course as a % of Function Core, or even the worlds’ population, this is a lot of people!).

Eastern Europe is clearly an emerging open source powerhouse. Of the top 20 countries as a percentage pf population who pledged the top 3 are Eastern Europe and a total of 8 make the list. Only 4 of the countries are “non-integrated gap” countries all of which are transitioning (or arguably have transitioned, into “New Core” countries. Indeed, there is an argument that open source software allows new core countries to integrate into the core more rapidly by not only making some of the key tools that facilitate this transition more readily and cheaply, available but also by enabling the population to participate in their development thus building world class skills without the requisite FDI or multinational corporate investment.

The more grim news is at the bottom of the list. Perhaps unsurprisingly, but still another sad reminder, virtually every country on the bottom 20 is African (Bangladesh and Myanmar are the exceptions). In short, the countries most in need of this software, software that is freely available, still are least likely to have the capacity and infrastructure to download it.

Other notable placements were Venezuela (62) and Iran (77), much lower down the list than I initially suspected they would be.

Also interesting, and perhaps a possible challenge for Barnett (and the world) is that the 3 Core countries with fewest number of pledges were (in order from fewest to most) China (123), India (116) and South Africa (89)

Also, just in case you were wondering, I believe the distribution of the countries rank by percentage of population makes a power law graph :)

Powerlaw pledge graph

 

Shocker.

80 thoughts on “Firefox pledge map – pledges as a % of population

  1. John Lilly

    hey david — i really, really like this set of posts — incredibly interesting — illustrates the digital divide as well as anything i’ve seen to date.

    i do think that it’ll be useful to re-run with download numbers once we’re finished with the 24 hour period in about 30 minutes — i think things will look a little more like you expected still.

    Reply
  2. John Lilly

    hey david — i really, really like this set of posts — incredibly interesting — illustrates the digital divide as well as anything i’ve seen to date. i do think that it’ll be useful to re-run with download numbers once we’re finished with the 24 hour period in about 30 minutes — i think things will look a little more like you expected still.

    Reply
  3. Mike Beltzner

    Hey Dave – I just sent you a CSV of the download numbers for our first 24hrs, but you can also see it as a table by going to the Download Day web page and turning off Javascript (Options > Content) and reloading the page.

    Reply
  4. Mike Beltzner

    Hey Dave – I just sent you a CSV of the download numbers for our first 24hrs, but you can also see it as a table by going to the Download Day web page and turning off Javascript (Options > Content) and reloading the page.

    Reply
  5. Michaleo di Seri Post author

    Congtatulations for the article!
    However I saw Slovenia listed as a Gap country. Well, Slovenia is part of the European Union, Eurozone, the Schengen area, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, NATO. It’s also a founding member of the WTO, and have a Human developement index of 0.92 (roughly that of South Korea and higher than Portugal). I think you just had some incorrect information (either you or the writer of “the pentagon’s new map”).
    I hope this information can be usefull to further improve your article.
    Thank you for your time and your articles!

    Reply
  6. David Eaves Post author

    Hi Michaleo,
    Thank you for the comment. I understand your confusion with Slovenia being considered a gap country. The book The Pentagon’s New Map was first published in September of 2004. A lot has changed since then, but at the time the author (I believe, but feel free to consult the original map) placed Slovenia in the Non-Integrated Gap. I think it is telling that the “Gap” countries on the list are those that most likely have, or are in the process of, integrating into the Core (something I discussed in the original blog post on the subject). I didn’t want to change Barnett’s country allocation as this would have opened up a bigger debate about who is not in and who is now out. so point taken and, the thesis breaks down if I change everything – hopefully Barnett himself will come comment.

    Reply
  7. Clarky

    One important thing that it appears your analysis does not address is that the percentage of downloads is apparently arrived at by comparing against the total size of the population. If a particular country has a lower total number of people with computers or online then of course they’re going to be at the bottom of the list.

    I don’t think you’re completely seeing what I think you are, although your analysis may be more accurate for the top 20 list.

    Reply
  8. Alan Tam Post author

    Although Hong Kong is not a country by itself, it does participate in many international affairs in its own identity. I think it deserves a place in your calculations. In fact, its pledge ratio is around 0.68%.

    Reply
  9. o.

    I think you messed Slovenia to Slovakia in the table above.

    Slovenia is a member of European Union and has been doing relatively well lately – definitely a core country.

    Slovakia on the other hand, is one of the ex-Yugoslavian states with civil war and dictatorship not that many years back in the history. It is actually also doing better nowadays, but 2004 it is understandable that it was marked as a gap country.

    Reply
  10. Michaleo di Seri

    Congtatulations for the article!However I saw Slovenia listed as a Gap country. Well, Slovenia is part of the European Union, Eurozone, the Schengen area, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, NATO. It’s also a founding member of the WTO, and have a Human developement index of 0.92 (roughly that of South Korea and higher than Portugal). I think you just had some incorrect information (either you or the writer of “the pentagon’s new map”).I hope this information can be usefull to further improve your article.Thank you for your time and your articles!

    Reply
  11. David Eaves

    Hi Michaleo,Thank you for the comment. I understand your confusion with Slovenia being considered a gap country. The book The Pentagon’s New Map was first published in September of 2004. A lot has changed since then, but at the time the author (I believe, but feel free to consult the original map) placed Slovenia in the Non-Integrated Gap. I think it is telling that the “Gap” countries on the list are those that most likely have, or are in the process of, integrating into the Core (something I discussed in the original blog post on the subject). I didn’t want to change Barnett’s country allocation as this would have opened up a bigger debate about who is not in and who is now out. so point taken and, the thesis breaks down if I change everything – hopefully Barnett himself will come comment.

    Reply
  12. David Eaves Post author

    O. – have not confused the two of them. Please take a look at my comment in response to Michaleo di Seri (Comment 4). While I recognize that today Slovenia may be a Core country – in Barnett’s map I believe it is not on that side of the dotted map.

    Reply
  13. Clarky

    One important thing that it appears your analysis does not address is that the percentage of downloads is apparently arrived at by comparing against the total size of the population. If a particular country has a lower total number of people with computers or online then of course they’re going to be at the bottom of the list.I don’t think you’re completely seeing what I think you are, although your analysis may be more accurate for the top 20 list.

    Reply
  14. Peter

    To o.
    Slovenia is a former part of Yugoslavia.
    Slovakia is a country which have arisen after the split of former Czechoslovakia (Into Czech Republic and Slovakia)
    Both are members of EU.

    Reply
  15. Jonti

    “Slovakia … is one of the ex-Yugoslavian states with civil war and dictatorship not that many years back in the history”

    Oh no, it isn’t!

    Readers may remember a county called “Czechoslovakia”. This from wikipedia … “On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.”

    It is Slovenia (not Slovakia) that was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 until gaining independence in 1991.

    Reply
  16. Gnuce Lee

    o. – you messed the two countries. Slovenia and Slovakia are both members of the EU!
    Slovakia was part of the former Czechoslovakia, which peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
    However, Republic of Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia. Although many refer to it as “ten-day-war”, there was no serious civil war in Slovenia, but merely a brief military conflict between Slovenia and Yugoslavia (Serbia) in 1991 following Slovenia’s declaration of independence.

    Reply
  17. Alan Tam

    Although Hong Kong is not a country by itself, it does participate in many international affairs in its own identity. I think it deserves a place in your calculations. In fact, its pledge ratio is around 0.68%.

    Reply
  18. o.

    I think you messed Slovenia to Slovakia in the table above.Slovenia is a member of European Union and has been doing relatively well lately – definitely a core country.Slovakia on the other hand, is one of the ex-Yugoslavian states with civil war and dictatorship not that many years back in the history. It is actually also doing better nowadays, but 2004 it is understandable that it was marked as a gap country.

    Reply
  19. quattro

    but as far as i can see on the map, slovenia is NOT a part of the gap. ok, so the border of the gap does touch it, but majority of the country lokks kinda core to me:)

    Reply
  20. David Eaves

    O. – have not confused the two of them. Please take a look at my comment in response to Michaleo di Seri (Comment 4). While I recognize that today Slovenia may be a Core country – in Barnett’s map I believe it is not on that side of the dotted map.

    Reply
  21. Per Nordlund

    “o.” have messed up geography!
    In July 1992 Slovakia declared itself a sovereign state from have been a part of Czechoslovakia. Slovakia has never been a part of Yugoslavia. Slovenia on the contrary was a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and was the first country to declare it’s sovereignty on 25 June 1991. There was only a short 10 days war between the new state and the former Yugoslavia. Both Slovakia and Slovenia are members of the EU.

    Reply
  22. Gaëtan de Menten

    Would be interesting to have those numbers per “computer with internet access” in each country, instead of per capita.

    Reply
  23. Peter

    To o.Slovenia is a former part of Yugoslavia.Slovakia is a country which have arisen after the split of former Czechoslovakia (Into Czech Republic and Slovakia)Both are members of EU.

    Reply
  24. Jonti

    “Slovakia … is one of the ex-Yugoslavian states with civil war and dictatorship not that many years back in the history”Oh no, it isn’t! Readers may remember a county called “Czechoslovakia”. This from wikipedia … “On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.”It is Slovenia (not Slovakia) that was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 until gaining independence in 1991.

    Reply
  25. Gnuce Lee

    o. – you messed the two countries. Slovenia and Slovakia are both members of the EU! Slovakia was part of the former Czechoslovakia, which peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.However, Republic of Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia. Although many refer to it as “ten-day-war”, there was no serious civil war in Slovenia, but merely a brief military conflict between Slovenia and Yugoslavia (Serbia) in 1991 following Slovenia’s declaration of independence.

    Reply
  26. Tommaso

    I think it would be interesting seeing a similar ranking not counting the pledges per capita, but instead using some measure of how much internet is spread in the population.

    Maybe considering the internet traffic generated in the country.

    Reply
  27. Peer

    The small countries are NOT OUTLIERS.

    You are insulting them.

    People in smaller countries probably know better than others what it means to be small, that you need to adapt to collaborate with other, and thus are probably more social.

    Get a clue! Big is not beautiful, it’s dinosaur-like. Clumsy. Monopolistic. Powerhungry. Oppressing.

    See what I mean?

    Reply
  28. quattro

    but as far as i can see on the map, slovenia is NOT a part of the gap. ok, so the border of the gap does touch it, but majority of the country lokks kinda core to me:)

    Reply
  29. kiril

    Republic of Macedonia – population (census 2002) 2022547, Mozilla download 3766. That is 0.1862%.
    Something is wrong with this article!

    Reply
  30. Per Nordlund

    “o.” have messed up geography! In July 1992 Slovakia declared itself a sovereign state from have been a part of Czechoslovakia. Slovakia has never been a part of Yugoslavia. Slovenia on the contrary was a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and was the first country to declare it’s sovereignty on 25 June 1991. There was only a short 10 days war between the new state and the former Yugoslavia. Both Slovakia and Slovenia are members of the EU.

    Reply
  31. hb

    It’d be also nice to see the results for US, EU (average or per country), Japan, Korea, and Russia in a separate table.

    As for Slovenia… it joined EU in 1.5.2004, so much for the ‘gap’. Also, it’s quite funny that Slovenians do not (and did not even before 2004) need a visa to enter US just like citizens of the old EU countries and unlike citizens of the other ‘central European’ countries (CZ, SK, PL, HU).

    Reply
  32. Gaëtan de Menten

    Would be interesting to have those numbers per “computer with internet access” in each country, instead of per capita.

    Reply
  33. Tommaso

    I think it would be interesting seeing a similar ranking not counting the pledges per capita, but instead using some measure of how much internet is spread in the population.Maybe considering the internet traffic generated in the country.

    Reply
  34. Peer

    The small countries are NOT OUTLIERS.You are insulting them.People in smaller countries probably know better than others what it means to be small, that you need to adapt to collaborate with other, and thus are probably more social.Get a clue! Big is not beautiful, it’s dinosaur-like. Clumsy. Monopolistic. Powerhungry. Oppressing.See what I mean?

    Reply
  35. kiril

    Republic of Macedonia – population (census 2002) 2022547, Mozilla download 3766. That is 0.1862%.Something is wrong with this article!

    Reply
  36. hb

    It’d be also nice to see the results for US, EU (average or per country), Japan, Korea, and Russia in a separate table.As for Slovenia… it joined EU in 1.5.2004, so much for the ‘gap’. Also, it’s quite funny that Slovenians do not (and did not even before 2004) need a visa to enter US just like citizens of the old EU countries and unlike citizens of the other ‘central European’ countries (CZ, SK, PL, HU).

    Reply
  37. AJ

    Interesting – I think Singapore should be a “core” country – we have a no budget deficits, we have lots of International trading partners, etc.

    We are also a pretty modern society with all the amenities (including up to 100 mbps broadband) you may expect.

    Oh, the leadership has also been very very stable here – with the same political party being in power for over 20 years even with elections held every few years.

    Reply
  38. Artheos

    I’m not sure what open source has to do with the numbers.

    Of the 9 million people who downloaded Firefox probably less than 1/10th of a percent will contribute to the project ever.

    This is about quality, price (or lack of), and competition with IE, NOT open source.

    Reply
  39. Alistair

    You said “In short, the countries most in need of this software, software that is freely available, still are least likely to have the capacity and infrastructure to download it.”

    I disagree. Developing nations need simple software that requires litle from hardware ram, graphics processing, etc.). Imagine a five-year old PC with half a meg of RAM and an unaccelerated graphics card on a 800×600 monitor.

    They need stuff like small, basic word processing and spreadsheets.

    Don’t get me wrong, FF is great, and *everyone* needs secure, efficient software over dangerous bloatware, but if anyone wants to help developing nations by developing software, FF development is not the best place to be. I’d be looking at educational software or some kind of infrastructure stuff if it were me.

    Reply
  40. DM

    To note: I think given the very bad conditions in Myanmar (Burma) and the capital Rangoon from their typhoon and frightened dictatorship who’ve worked to stop data entering/leaving the country to the point of including food aid… Their numbers is not so bad.

    Reply

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