The internet has reached the highest per capita saturation point than ever before in history. Some regions of the world still have limited access, but those regions are becoming more scarce. This makes the world closer than it ever has been before.
The first 1 billion people to be on the internet happened in 2005. By 2010, 2 billion people were online. The 3 billion mark was reached in 2014.
Internet Access Facts
As the internet access statistics continue to improve, the world will begin seeing an even greater fusion of ethnicities and cultures. This will have a profound impact on humanity. Whether that impact is good or bad depends on each one of us.
- About 40% of the total population of the world has access to an internet connection right now.
- The number of users with internet access has increased by 10x since 1999.
- Almost half of the world [48.4%] that is connected to the internet comes from Asia, yet the continent is second only to Africa for per capita internet access.
- 75% of internet users in the world live in the top 20 countries for internet connections.
- China has the largest number of people connected to the internet: 642 million.
- Among the top 20 countries, India is the one with the lowest penetration: 19% and the highest yearly growth rate.
- At the opposite end of the range, United States, France, Canada, UK, and Germany have the highest penetration: over 80% of population in these countries has an internet connection.
As the APAC region continues to develop and wealth begins to grow, the prevalence of internet access will also keep growing. Although this region already dominates the overall connections as a percentage, they also have the most people who are not connected to the internet right now as well. These facts also apply to the African continent. Within the next 5 years, it would not be impossible to cross the 4 billion connection level, putting half of the world online.
How Far Has The Internet Penetrated?
- North America leads the world with internet market penetration at 87%.
- Asia has the most users on the internet today, yet has only 34.7% market penetration.
- Someone in Latin America or the Caribbean is 2x more likely to be on the internet when compared to someone in Africa.
- There are more people online in Europe and Latin America than there are in North America.
- There are only 13 million fewer people connected to the internet in Africa than are connected in North America.
- From 2000-2014, Africa saw a growth rate of almost 6,500% in terms of internet usage growth. In comparison, North America only saw 184% growth.
In the next decade, the growth and market saturation that the developed world saw will be seen in Africa and the APAC region. This will create explosive growth in the internet access statistics and will create an even smaller world. Watch for numerous entrepreneurial opportunities as the internet explodes in growth because more people will be anxious to absorb the tremendous archive of data that the internet is able to provide. As connections grow, the world will undoubtedly change.
Why Do People Go Online?
- The most common reason to connect to the internet is to get news, accounting for the usage habits of 77% of men and 66% of women.
- 3 out of the top 4 reasons to connect to the internet involve gathering news, such as sports scores or updates on politics. Making travel reservations [#2 reason for being online] is the only activity that cracks the Top 4.
- Women online are 2x more likely to participate in an online auction than they are to purchased stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.
- Minorities in the US [71%] are more likely to go online for job training or school research than Caucasians.
The internet might be a bastion of buying and selling, but it is also an educational resource beyond compare. As internet access increases, the amount of knowledge that each culture and society has will increase as well. Will this help to enlighten us as a people as we seek to grow stronger in our differences? Or will we polarize like modern American politics and create our own little niche of similarly minded folks? This is a choice we will need to make in the near future.