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Internet population grows 10%

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday March 7, 2007 )

Close to 750 million people over the age of 15 accessed the Internet globally in January 2007, representing a 10% increase over January last year.

According to ComScore Networks, China still remains second to the USA in terms of total number of users at 86 million. The USA has a tad over 150 million and as a sign of the USA market reaching maturity, the increase over 2006 was only 2%.

Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain and the Netherlands also recorded growth of under 5% according to the ComScore survey.

Even thought the gap between the USA and China still seems huge, if China’s growth rate continues at 20% annually, then it will overtake the USA within 4 years time, when China will have around 178 million users compared to the USA’s 162 million.

The big growth percentage-wise was India – a whopping 33% over January 2006. Other countries experiencing double digit growth were Brazil at 16%, Italy at 13% and Mexico at 18%. I found it surprising that Canada’s growth was 11% – I really expected it to be more in line with the USA. Canadians also appear to spend the most time online, followed by Israelis and South Koreans. I’m pretty sure South Korea held the top spot in terms of hours spent not so long ago.

The most important point from the survey for me was the fact that USA users are well and truly a minority online globally speaking – only 20% and that percentage will continue to decrease in the years ahead. Having said that, the web does remain overall very influenced by Americans and American trends – just like TV; and don’t expect that to change any time soon. Still, brushing up on your Chinese couldn’t hurt :)

Read more of the ComScore Networks Internet population survey.

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