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A billion mobile subscribers in China; still below world average

Americans are still more obsessed with our mobile phones.

By the estimate of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the world's most populous nation now has more than a billion mobile phone subscribers.

Now, a billion mobile users is nothing to sneeze at, but the People's Republic has 1.3 billion people, which means a little more than three-quarters of its citizens have an active mobile phone. Interestingly, that's actually a few percentage points below the global average--nearly 80 percent of the worldwide population has a mobile phone, according to the latest estimates by Gartner and the Census Bureau, which track worldwide mobile subscriptions and population, respectively.

By comparison, here in the United States, we Americans are outnumbered by our cell phones. Our carriers literally have more subscriptions on their books than we know what to do with. In fact, you could give each man, woman, child, and infant in America a cell line and still have enough left over to provide about 10 million or so of our pets with their own lines.

We're not the most mobile-crazy people in the world, though--in the United Arab Emirates, the ratio of cell phone accounts to people is almost 2 to 1.

Perhaps the most sobering statistics on our obsession with being connected while on the go are those that also reveal certain misplaced priorities on a global scale--in sub-Saharan Africa, more people have cell phones than have electricity in their homes; and according to global UN figures, more people have access to a cell phone than a toilet.

(Via All Things D)