Internet is already accessible in 90.0% of the country’s households in 2021

  • highlights

  • Internet reaches 90.0% of households in the country in 2021, up 6 percentage points (pp) compared to 2019, when 84.0% of households had access to the large network.
  • In the rural area, the proportion of households with internet went from 57.8% to 74.7%, between 2019 and 2021, while in the urban area, it rose from 88.1% to 92.3%.
  • In 2021, cell phones were the main internet access device at home, being used in 99.5% of households with access to the large network. Then came the TV, the main device for internet access in 44.4% of households, surpassing, for the first time, the computer (42.2%).
  • In 2021, for the first time, more than half of the elderly accessed the internet in the PNAD ICT reference period. The percentage of internet use by people aged 60 and over jumped from 44.8% to 57.5% between 2019 and 2021.
  • The use of mobile internet for voice or video calls (95.7%) surpassed that of text, voice or images (94.9%), the most frequent purpose until 2019 (95.8%).
  • From 2019 to 2021, the number of households with TV in the country rose from 68.4 million to 69.6 million. However, the proportion of households with TV dropped from 96.2% to 95.5% of the total.
  • The percentage of households in the country with access to pay TV dropped from 30.3% to 27.8%, but in rural areas it rose from 16.4% to 17.8%.
  • From 2019 to 2021, the percentage of households with internet connection via mobile broadband dropped from 81.2% to 79.2%, while the percentage of fixed broadband increased from 78.0% to 83.5%.
  • In 2021, 1.5 million households in the country (or 2.2% of the total) did not have any of the three forms of access to digital TV (converter, satellite dish or subscription) and 80.6% of them were in urban areas.

TV passed microcomputer in the second position of the most used devices for internet access – Photo: Helena Pontes on Freepik mockup


For the first time since 2016, there was a significant change in the ranking of devices most used in Brazilian households to access the Internet. In 2021, cell phones continued to lead, being the main internet access device in 99.5% of households. In second place, for the first time, now appears television, the most used access option in 44.4% of households, up 12.1 percentage points compared to 2019 (32.3%). The use of microcomputers fell from 45.2% to 42.2% and is in third position. The tablet completes the list, which fell from 12.1% to 9.9% of households in the period.

“Between 2019 and 2021, there was a drop in internet access via microcomputers and tablets, but we have already seen an increase in access through television by more than 10 percentage points. Analyzing the series since 2016, we saw that there was a slight increase in mobile access, a decrease in computer use from 57.2% to 42.2% and tablet use from 17.8% to 9.9%. TV, on the other hand, went from 11.7% in 2016 to 44.4%. The income of these households was higher among those who used a tablet, R$ 3 thousand; compared to BRL 2,296 for those using a microcomputer, BRL 1,985 for those who access via TV and the lowest income, BRL 1,480, is for those who access with a cell phone”, highlights the research analyst, Flávia Vinhaes.

The data, released today (16) by the IBGE, are from the Information and Communication Technology Module (ICT) that is investigated in the 4th quarter visits by the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (PNAD), covering access to the Internet and television in households and access to the Internet and possession of a cell phone by people aged 10 years and over. The most recent comparisons are between 2019 and 2021, as this research module was not fielded in 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Another highlight is that from 2019 to 2021, the percentage of households with internet connection via mobile broadband dropped from 81.2% to 79.2%, while the percentage of fixed broadband increased from 78.0% to 83.5 %.

“For the first time in the series, fixed broadband surpasses mobile broadband, which fell while fixed broadband increased more significantly. The increase in the use of fixed broadband may be related to the pandemic, a period in which people had to maintain isolation, staying at home, which made mobile broadband less used. Another reason could be the expansion of access in the North Region, where the percentage of households with access via fixed broadband had a significant increase, rising from 54.7% in 2019 to 70.5% in 2021”, analyzes Flávia.

In 2021, among the 183.9 million people aged 10 or over in the country, 84.7% used the Internet in the PNAD ICT reference period. This percentage was higher among students: 90.3%, 98.2% for those in the private network and 87.0% for the public education network.

The percentage of households with TV in the country drops

From 2019 to 2021, the number of households with TV in the country rose from 68.4 million to 69.6 million. However, there was a slight drop in the proportion of households with TV: from 96.2% to 95.5% of the total households in the country. This behavior was observed in all major regions, with the greatest reduction in percentages occurring in the Northeast: from 94.6% to 93.4%.

The average real income per capita in households where there was television (R$ 1,453) was equivalent to almost twice that income in households without TV (R$ 830).

In 2021, 96.2% of urban households and 90.8% of rural households had a TV.

Converter for digital TV is already present in more than 90% of homes

In 2021, there were 63.3 million households with a television with a converter to receive the digital open television signal, equivalent to 90.9% of households with television in the country.

From 2019 to 2021, this proportion grew in urban areas (92.6% to 92.9%) and, more intensely, in rural areas (71.9% to 76.6%).

Pay-TV usage declines in urban areas and rises in rural areas

In 2021, 27.8% of households with televisions had access to pay-TV services, a proportion that was 29.2% in urban areas and 17.8% in rural areas. In Brazil, the percentage of households with pay-TV has decreased, except in rural areas, where this percentage was 16.4% in 2019.


In households without access to pay-TV service, 43.5% did not have it because they considered it expensive and 45.6% because they were not interested in the service. Those who did not have the service because the videos (including programs, films or series) accessed via the Internet represented 8.7%, while those who did not have it because it was not available in the area where the household was located only 1.2%.

Satellite dish was found in almost 16 million homes

About 22.6% of the country’s households (or 15.7 million) had TV signal reception by satellite dish, with 56.1% of them in rural areas and 17.8% in urban areas.

the average income per capita in households with satellite dishes (R$ 1,075) it represented 46.0% of this income in households with access to pay-TV service (R$ 2,336).

Almost 60% of seniors already access the internet

The proportion of people aged 10 years and over who accessed the Internet in the PNAD ICT reference period rose from 79.5% to 84.7% from 2019 to 2021. In all age groups, the proportions of use increased. The group aged 25 to 29 has the highest percentage of use: 94.5%, but all age groups between 14 and 49 years old have percentages above 90%.

Proportionally, the age group aged 60 or over is the one that accesses the Internet the least, but from 2019 to 2021, the percentage of use by the elderly increased the most: from 44.8% to 57.5%, a high of 12 .7 percentage points, surpassing, for the first time, 50%. In the 50 to 59 age group, this percentage also rose significantly: from 74.4% to 83.3%.


Internet use for voice or video calls surpasses that of text messages

Also for the first time since the beginning of the historical series, more people used the Internet to chat via voice or video calls (95.7%) than to send or receive text, voice or image messages through applications other than e-mail. (94.9%), which was the most frequent purpose until 2019. Watching videos, including programs, series and movies (89.1%) and sending or receiving e-mails (62%) complete the list.

While 84.2% of students from the private network used the Internet to send or receive e-mails, among students from the public network this percentage was 55.0%. Still among those in the public network, in 2021, the main purpose of using the Internet was to watch videos, including programs, series and movies (94.1%), while among students from the private network, the highest percentage occurred for the purpose of chatting via voice or video calls (97.2%).

In 2021, 28.7 million people did not have a cell phone for personal use, which represents 15.6% of the population aged 10 and over. Of this number, 28.1% claimed that the telephone set was expensive.

Number of households with landlines continues to fall

The proportion of households with a landline telephone in the country was 15.6%, with a drop of 7.5 percentage points compared to 2019 (23.1%). This downward trend was also observed in all regions of the country. The rate of households that had a cell phone (96.3%) increased compared to 2019 (94.4%).

The average real income per capita the share of households where there was no telephone was much lower than that in households that had a telephone. In the country, in 2021, the income in households that did not have a telephone (R$ 700) represented 48.4% of the income in those with a telephone (R$ 1,445). In those with a conventional landline, the average income was R$2,432, while in those with a cell phone, this income was R$1,444.

The proportion of households with a microcomputer drops

From 2019 to 2021, the proportion of households with a microcomputer dropped from 41.4% to 40.7%. In urban areas, this percentage dropped from 45.6% to 44.9% and in rural areas, there was a reduction from 13.8% to 12.8%. In this period, the proportion of households with a tablet dropped from 11.6% to 9.9%.

The average income of households without a microcomputer or tablet was R$835, and R$2,172 in households with at least one of these devices.

About Yadunandan Singh

Born in 1992, Yadunandan approaches the world of video games thanks to two sacred monsters like Diablo and above all Sonic, strictly in the Sega Saturn version. Ranging between consoles and PCs, he is particularly fond of platform titles and RPGs, not disdaining all other genres and moving in the constant search for the perfect balance between narration and interactivity.

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