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20 Facts on Worldwide Internet Usage That You Should Know

Posted on by in Info & News

Do you know what percentage of the world population uses the Internet every day? Which population uses the Internet the most? How many countries do not have an Internet connection? Here are some of the top facts on worldwide Internet usage.


It is also important to know that these do not consider data from all countries because of various factors. For example, statistics regarding Internet penetration in North Korea are not made public. Nevertheless, many analysts agree that worldwide Internet penetration is on a steady rise in both developed and developing countries.

1. One of the first facts on worldwide Internet usage is that, as of 2016, an estimated 3.5 billion people use the Internet throughout the world. This means that about 45% of the global population has access to the Internet.

2. The majority of Internet users are based in East and South Asia with China topping the world’s market in terms of number of Internet users. China has the highest number of Internet users in the world with an estimated 642 million users. 22 percent of the total Internet users in the world are in China. The country has more Internet users than the next three countries combined (India, U.S., and Japan).


3. More than two-thirds of all Internet users in the world live in the top 20 richest countries. The remaining a third live in the other 178 countries. An Internet user is any person with an Internet connection at home or via a computer or mobile device.

4. Among the top 20 Internet users in the world, India has the lowest penetration, but the highest annual growth rate. More than 80 percent of the people in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K., have access to the Internet.

5. The most commonly used language on the Internet is English followed by Chinese and Spanish respectively.

6. The average Internet speeds are higher in developed Asian countries. Internet speeds are usually measured in megabytes. South Korea has the world’s fastest average Internet connection speed at 27Mbps.


7. Three in four people access the Internet through their mobile devices, which is why many companies are increasingly optimizing their content for mobile devices to allow users to access the content from anywhere and anytime. Smartphones and tablet devices have helped increase Internet usage around the globe.

8. In 2016, millennials spent an average of 185 minutes on the Internet while Generation X spent 110 minutes on the Internet on a daily basis.

9. Some of the most commonly used Internet services include:

  • Email
  • Social networking
  • Online search
  • Online video e.g. via YouTube
  • Online shopping
  • Instant messaging

10. The most popular messaging app in the world is WhatsApp with 1 billion active monthly users, followed by Facebook Messenger with 900 million active monthly users. Facebook owns both.


11. The leading social network in the world is Facebook with 1.7 billion active users. Other popular social networking sites include:

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • LinkedIn
  • Flickr

12. The fastest growing e-commerce category is retail marketing, which is expected to generate an estimated $669 billion in revenue by 2018. In addition, e-commerce market is increasingly expanding with a huge following by Internet users worldwide.

13. Important facts on worldwide Internet usage are that Amazon is the leading site generating more than $27 billion a year. Apple, Jingdong, eBay, Walmart, CVS Health, Home Depot, Walgreens, Target, and Google play are also other leading online retailers.


14. In 2016, more than 400 million records of Internet users were stolen or illegally accessed. The rise of digital platforms and the increasing importance of the Internet have raised concerns about online privacy. Hacktivism and data leaks such as the Panama Papers are becoming increasingly common in the current digital era. This has led to discussions by governments and technology companies about the need for increased monitoring of users’ online activities. Some Internet companies such as Google and social media firms have been accused of secretly sharing users’ information with government agencies.

15. The number of Internet users has increased more than ten times between 1996 and 2016. Easy access to computers, modernization of countries across the world, and increased utilization of smartphones has enabled people to use the Internet more often and more conveniently. Internet penetration is usually considered a reflection of current state of development in terms of communication infrastructure.

16. There are an estimated 884 million connections of wired broadband subscriptions in the world. However, most developing online markets rely strongly on mobile connections due to poor broadband infrastructure. 31.2% of the total worldwide traffic comes from mobile devices. The global mobile data traffic is expected to surpass 30.6 Exabytes per month by 2020.

17. 86 percent of Internet users in the U.S. access the web using mobile applications.

18. The most popular Internet applications in the world are gaming software. An estimated 24.4 billion was generated by the online gaming industry in 2014 with 17billion and 7.4 billion attributed to smartphone and tablet gaming respectively.


19. Alphabet is the parent company of Google and is currently the largest Internet Company in the world. Google is the top search engine in the world and has expanded its portfolio to include video content sharing via YouTube, Google play store, and web services and applications such as Gmail and Google Chrome. Google is the most visited multi-platform website in the U.S.

20. Despite the increased penetration of the Internet in the world, 18 countries in the world do not have access to the Internet. 16.6% of the world population uses the Internet with 1 billion people surfing every month. Asia is the largest Internet user in the world with an average 389 million Internet users per month.

People throughout the world use the Internet for various reasons including research, social networking, entertainment, business, or for educational purposes. The thirst to use the Internet grows day by day, and the number of Internet users is steadily increasing. This means that the facts about worldwide Internet usage are likely to change with time.

Author: Marc Mendelman

Marc Mendelman is a Contributing Editor and a Junior HR Consultant at Today Assistant. With a great interest in everything related to career-building and job-seeking advice, he aims to help individuals reach true professional fulfillment.

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