DiSTO Brazil


  • Brazil is 79th on the world ranking list of human development (Source UNDP) with a Gini of 51.3 (Source: Worldbank).
  • São Paulo metropolitan region is among the 33 megacities of the world, having, in 2018, the 4th largest population (Source: UN).
  • The proportion of households with Internet access in the country reached 61%, an estimated 42.1 million households. Despite this growth in the number of connected households, regional and socioeconomic inequalities persisted at similar levels, with greater percentages of connected households in urban areas (65%) and in classes A (99%) and B (93%), in contrast with lower percentages among households in rural areas (34%) and in classes DE (30%) (Source NIC.br/Cetic.br).
  • In 2017, the number of Internet users in Brazil reached 120.7 million, representing 67% of the population 10 years old or older. Of these, virtually all users (96%) accessed the Internet on mobile phones, and 49% accessed the Internet only through these devices (Source NIC.br/Cetic.br).
  • In 2017, the proportion of those who accessed the Internet only on mobile phones reached the same level as those who used the Internet on both computers and mobile phones (47%) (Source NIC.br/Cetic.br).
  • Brazil have longstanding programs promoting the use of ICT in Education, such as Proinfo, created in 1997. Although policies have improved connectivity among public school, there is lack in terms of pedagogical use of ICTs, availability of online content and teachers training (Source NIC.br/Cetic.br).

Projects in Brazil

In Brazil the DISTO project focuses on the production of heatmaps (forthcoming publication in 2019).

Mapping digital and social inequalities in Brazil

The main objective of the project is to map social and digital exclusion in the city of São Paulo. Sample surveys conducted by Cetic.br/NIC.br and other official data were used to develop specific measures based on the framework developed by the “Exclusion in a Digital Britain Heatmap project”.

This was achieved via:

  • The development of area level metrics using existing databases to cover lower level of disaggregation;
  • The edition of a publication (printed and online), aimed at policy-makers and researchers, that discuss the unequal appropriation of ICTs within metropolitan regions, focusing on the trajectory of social and digital inequalities in São Paulo;
  • Use of new sources of data (big data) such as connectivity tests to develop alternative metrics to better estimate the access and use of ICTs in local level areas.


Researchers: Fabio Senne, Stefania Lapolla Cantoni, Graziela Castello

Partners: Cetic.br (Regional Center on the Development of the Information Society)/NIC.br (Brazilian Network Information Center); CEBRAP (Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning)