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Speaking of: Communications

December 04, 1990

In an increasingly high-tech world, a country's communications network is a key measure of the quality of life it offers. Telephones, radios and televisions are the tools for keeping information and ideas flowing.

According to the most recent figures available, the United States leads the world in the number of radios and televisions per 1,000 population. While the availability of communications equipment is on the rise almost everywhere, the figures below indicate the great disparity that still exists around the world.

Canadians, according to these figures, have more telephones than Americans, while the world's most populous nation, China, has among the fewest telephones.

Per 1,000 population

Country Telephones Radios Televisions United States 760 2,119 811 Australia 550 1,270 483 Brazil 93 368 191 Britain 524 1,145 434 Canada 780 953 577 China 7 184 17 Czechoslovakia 246 256 285 El Salvador 27 401 82 France 608 893 333 Iran 39 236 53 Israel 445 470 264 Japan 555 863 587 Kenya 14 90 6 Mexico 96 241 120 Saudi Arabia 113 272 268 South Africa 143 319 97 South Korea 255 986 194 Soviet Union 113 685 314 Venezuela 92 395 142 Germany* 650 954 385

SOURCE: Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, Statistical Yearbook (copyright), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris. * Figures from West Germany before unification with the East.

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