A virtual networking platform that allows us to stay connected through various devices, the internet has proven to be extremely beneficial for us. Through the internet, we can send, receive, collect, store, update and perform numerous operations. The virtual world through the internet is half our life because it constitutes most of our days from us looking up online schedules, to checking groceries on the online store, taking classes on Zoom, looking up recipes for dinner, and finally watching our favorite movies. We are also globally connected as one. A person from one corner of the world can take his classes online or communicate with loved ones on the other corner of the world via the internet.
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A Digital 2021 April Global Statshot Report released in April 2021 showed that 6 in 10 people on Earth use the internet. According to this report, there are 7.85 billion people in the world, out of which only 4.72 billion people have access to the internet, equating to more than 60% of the total world’s population. Internet users have grown exponentially by 7.6 percent over the past year, since their last reports. This goes to show that more and more people are signing up on the internet. However, these reports still show that the rest of the world is not online or does not have access to the internet (approx. 40% of the world’s population).
Countries do vary by the scope of having the number of internet users. However, this does not reflect their overall connectivity; their internet penetration rate, which shows the number of internet users divided by the country’s overall population, will give an idea about how much of the users have internet in their devices and how many of them do not have any access to the internet.
China: According to a report released by Visual Capitalist in November 2020, 854,000,000 people are accessing the internet in China. This number is staggering showing that China has the largest number of internet users worldwide. However, their penetration is at 59%, stating that the number of unconnected users is relatively high. China still has a long way to go before reaching full connectivity.
That is not to say that China still has a large population who depend solely on the internet in their daily lives. In December 2020, a government agency called the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said that the country had 989 million internet users, which is almost 1 billion in population. The COVID pandemic forced millions to be trapped in their homes and adopt new habits including using the internet for social media activity and shopping online. China also owns some of the largest online trade markets, such as Alibaba, Tencent, etc. which have proven to have boosted the number of internet users.
India: Forbes India published an article in June 2021, where they showed that there were currently 622 million active users in the country in 2020. It is expected that by 2025, the number will increase by 900 million in India. India is catching up to China in the race to having the largest number of internet users. This growth will be led by an increase in internet users in rural India since they were responsible for 13% growth of the country’s internet users. However, rural India only constitutes two out of five internet users in India, and it is still far behind in digital infrastructure.
In India, the ratio of male to female internet users is the same in both urban and rural India. There are 57% male internet users and 43% female internet users in urban India, whereas in rural India, about 58% of men are internet users and 42% of women are internet users.
US: There were 293 million internet users in the US in August 2019 and that is only 52% of the US population, a statistics database Statista revealed. These 293 million internet users are mostly adults, aged 50 and under and they constitute 100% of their population. Only 73% of people 65 years and older have access to the internet in the US. The gender ratio shows that in the US, women (91%) use the internet more than men (90%). The first Wi-Fi installed in the US was back in the 90s so that the general public could make use of it. Reports show that in 2019, there are around 152,069 Wi-Fi locations found in the US.
These are the top three countries with the largest number of internet users, growing every day and it is also important to note that there are still a large number of users who have no access to the internet. Brands that want to build an online presence at an international level should look for countries with the largest youth population to advertise their business.
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