Internet Population Passes 1 Billion

As reported by ComScore, the world-wide internet population has surpasses 1 billion as of December 2008. While it is quite a big number, the data also mean another 5 billion people are not online. Having grown up with internet since elementary school, I cannot imagine life with out it. ComScore broke the data down to the top 15 countries with the largest internet populations.

The top 15 countries seemed to pretty obvious to me, so I decided to find out what portion of each country was online.

Country Online Total Percentage
China 179.7 1330 13.5%
USA 163.3 303.8 53.8%
Japan 60 127.3 47.1%
Germany 37 82.4 44.9%
United Kingdom 36.7 60.9 60.3%
France 34 61.5 55.3%
India 32.1 1148 2.8%
Russia 29 140.7 20.6%
Brazil 27.7 191.9 14.4%
South Korea 27.3 48.4 56.4%
Canada 21.8 33.2 65.7%
Italy 20.8 58.1 35.8%
Spain 17.9 40 44.75%
Mexico 12.5 110 11.4%
Netherlands 11.8 16.5 71.5%

China is in #1 with the biggest internet audience, but their numbers only represent 13.5% of their population. The room for growth is still tremendous. I can’t even imagine the number of chinese websites that I will never come across. The most surprising figure, however, is India’s percentage. With a booming population of 1.1 billion, only 2.8% are online! While the internet industry in both countries are not as mature as the US, the talent and potential are there. There’s no doubt we will experience a good dose of competition from abroad, if not already.

On the hand, the figures of South Korea and Japan make me scratch my head in wonder. Both countries have been praised as one of the most connected countries in the world. Their wireless and mobile technologies surpass the US, yet the numbers still show about 50% are online, which is about the same as the US.

We live at an exciting period in time, and opportunities are still wide open to internet entrepreneurs world-wide. Oh, and happy Chinese New Years :) Here’s to another billion.

Update: One caveat I overlooked: “Excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.” The internet population in Asia is probably way bigger than the data states.

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