Ip Assignment, Per Capita 12 July, 2006 — Stuart Brown

The IP rich list - as decided by ARIN, RIPE, et al.

Posted in Security & Hacking, Networks
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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. 4 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).

The map below shows this data. Those countries with more than 1 IP per person are in green, those with 1 IP for every 10 people are in yellow, 1 IP for 100 people in orange, and so on. The top 10 and bottom 10 countries, with the population and IP statistics, are listed in tabular form below.

Shaded Map

IPs per capita shaded world map

Top 10 Countries

    Country Population No. of IPs IPs/capita
1. Vatican City 783 8,191 10.5 IPs per person
2. United States 299,161,390 1,352,246,048 4.5 IPs per person
3. Canada 32,547,200 70,313,601 2.2 IPs per person
4. Iceland 297,139 589,790 2.0 IPs per person
5. Monaco 35,656 63,480 1.8 IPs per person
6. Gibraltar 27,921 47,097 1.7 IPs per person
7. Liechtenstein 33,987 51,217 1.51 IPs per person
8. Sweden 9,072,269 13,573,300 1.501 IPs per person
9. Finland 5,255,580 7,705,691 1.496 IPs per person
10. Australia 20,555,300 29,998,170 1.459 IPs per person

As you can see, the top 10 countries are as you may expect - western, wealthy countries with high internet penetration.

Vatican City makes it to No. 1 by virtue of being tiny, and the rest consist of the US, Nothern Europe, Japan and Australia. Smaller principalities fare well - such as the wealthy city-state of Monaco and the small German principality of Liechenstein.

Bottom 10 Countries

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.

    Country Population No. of IPs IPs/capita
195. Afghanistan 29,863,000 20,476 1,458 people per IP
196. Madagascar 18,606,000 12,286 1,514 people per IP
197. Guinea-Bissau 1,586,000 1,203 1,550 people per IP
198. Central African Republic 4,038,000 2,047 1,972 people per IP
199. Burundi 7,548,000 2,302 3,278 people per IP
200. Myanmar 50,519,000 12,286 4,112 people per IP
201. Malawi 12,884,000 3,070 4,197 people per IP
202. Ethiopia 75,067,000 16,383 4,582 people per IP
203. Niger 13,957,000 255 58,139 people per IP
204. Democratic Republic of Congo 59,319,660 1023 58,140 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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