Monday, December 04, 2006

The IP Rich List

Under IPv4 there are 4,294,967,296 possible IP addresses - each of which may be assigned to a device or computer on the internet. Four billion addresses equates to slightly less that two thirds of an IP address per person on the planet. As you may imagine, the IP addresses are not distributed evenly around the world - they are assigned to individual countries by Regional Internet Registries such as ARIN and RIPE. We take a look at how that information breaks down per person in each country.

First of all, I obtained an IP address to country lookup list, which revealed the blocks assigned to each country - from this I was able to calculate the total number of IP addresses allocated to each country. I then divided that total figure by the country's population, giving an indication of the number of IPs available to that country per capita (person).

Top 10 Countries

CountryPopulationNo. of IPsIPs/capita
1.Vatican City7838,19110.5 IPs per person
2.United States299,161,3901,352,246,0484.5 IPs per person
3.Canada32,547,20070,313,6012.2 IPs per person
4.Iceland297,139589,7902.0 IPs per person
5.Monaco35,65663,4801.8 IPs per person
6.Gibraltar27,92147,0971.7 IPs per person
7.Liechtenstein33,98751,2171.51 IPs per person
8.Sweden9,072,26913,573,3001.501 IPs per person
9.Finland5,255,5807,705,6911.496 IPs per person
10.Australia20,555,30029,998,1701.459 IPs per person

And so, onto the bottom 10 countries. Note that these are expressed in a slightly different way - rather that IPs per person, these are expressed by people per IP - the reciprocal.

Bottom 10 Countries

CountryPopulationNo. of IPsIPs/capita
195.Afghanistan29,863,00020,4761,458 people per IP
196.Madagascar18,606,00012,2861,514 people per IP
197.Guinea-Bissau1,586,0001,2031,550 people per IP
198.Central African Republic4,038,0002,0471,972 people per IP
199.Burundi7,548,0002,3023,278 people per IP
200.Myanmar50,519,00012,2864,112 people per IP
201.Malawi12,884,0003,0704,197 people per IP
202.Ethiopia75,067,00016,3834,582 people per IP
203.Niger13,957,00025558,139 people per IP
204.Democratic Republic of Congo59,319,660102358,140 people per IP

As seen in the shaded map above, it's the African countries and disputed territories that have the highest ration of people to assigned IPs. The least IP-dense country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been stricken by war during the main period of growth of the internet, and has likely suffered. There is a clear reflection of GNP in these figures too - those countries with lower GDPs have similarly lower concentrations of IPs.

This IP shortage is the reason why the move to IPv6 is underway, which supports a markedly superior 3.4x1038 possible addresses - more than enough for everyone on the planet, and no doubt we'll need the extra address space with the lesser economically developed countries catching up in terms of internet usage.


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