As cliché as it sounds at this point, the internet is an integral part of our lives. Most of us spend more time on the internet than speaking to people in the real world.

    This paradigm shift is reflected in the internet usage across the globe as well.

    This article has covered some of the interesting statistics about internet usage and its patterns across the world. We have also included subsections for focus.

    General Internet Usage Statistics in 2024

    Let’s look at some numbers about general internet usage across the world.

    1. According to data from January 2024, there are 5.35 billion internet users across the world. All these numbers are growing, thanks to improved access and better infrastructure.
    2. Competing with this number, the world also has 5.04 billion social media users. Only a small fraction of internet users refrain from social media platforms these days.
    3. Google.com is the most popular website in the world, followed by YouTube.com and Facebook.com, respectively. Twitter and Instagram have the fourth and fifth ranks, respectively.
    4. The number of internet users worldwide has doubled in the past decade. It grew from 2.5 billion to 5.3 billion.
    5. As of January 2023, China has the largest digital population, contributing over 1 billion internet users. In the second and third positions are India and the United States, in the same order.
    6. Surprisingly, China offers the least internet freedom, placing it with a Freedom House Index of 10. On the other end, we have Iceland with the most internet freedom, with an index point of 95.
    7. As of January 2024, Northern Europe and Northern America have the highest internet penetration rates. Comparatively, South Asia, Western Africa, and Eastern Africa have internet penetration rates as low as 26.7%.
    8. At least 96.5% of the digital population uses a mobile device to access the internet. While the exact values vary, mobile devices are responsible for more than 50% of the time spent online.
    9. It is predicted that the number of internet users will reach close to 7.9 billion by 2029.
    10. As opposed to what many think, the internet is only 40 years old. Even though there were forms of networks, the Internet as we know it was established in 1983.

    Internet Usage by Location

    Internet Usage Statistics in the US

    As one of the most connected countries in the world, the internet usage stats in the US have some specifics.

    1. Compared to the global internet penetration rate of 66.2%, the United States has a penetration rate of close to 96.8%. It means 96 people out of the 100 US citizens are likely to have active access to the internet.
    2. Even though mobile internet access is equally popular, more than 80% of US households have access to home broadband internet. It also means the average internet speed of the US citizen is high.
    3. Utah, Georgia, Colorado, California, and Florida are some of the most well-connected cities in the United States.
    4. In terms of the average minimum download speed, however, Seattle, Washington, tops the list, with a speed of 317Mbps.
    5. Salt Lake City, Utah, however, has an average maximum download speed of up to 1,576Mbps. That is, if you are willing to pay, you can have one of the fastest internet connections in Salt Lake City.
    6. As of 2023, the number of internet users in the United States was close to 318 million. But the number is expected to rise to 343 million by the end of the decade.
    7. According to the data from 2023 Q3, online users spent an average of 7.03 hours a single day. Out of this, 3.39 hours were through mobile phones, whereas the other 3.24 hours were using PC/tablets.
    8. Within the age group of 18 to 29 years, the internet penetration rate remains 97%. Surprisingly, the rates are almost similar in the 50 to 64 age group as well. The number dips a little when it comes to the 65+ age group, though.
    9. Following the global trend, Google.com, YouTube.com, and Facebook.com are the most visited sites in the United States. However, the fourth and fifth positions are occupied by Amazon and Yahoo.
    10. The eCommerce industry in the United States has had tremendous growth from a valuation of 375 billion USD to 757 billion USD in 2024. The numbers are expected to hit 1145 billion USD by the end of the decade.

    Internet Usage Statistics in Europe

    1. With close to 705 million internet users, Europe has the second-highest number of digital population in the world. Please note that it is considered a region, not a country.
    2. Europe is the region with the maximum internet penetration rate according to data from January 2024. Among these, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, and Ireland have set the record of having up to a 99% penetration rate.
    3. Bulgaria is the European country with the lowest share of the population with access to the Internet. It has an internet penetration rate of 84%.
    4. In the past 10 years, the share of internet users from the EU has exponentially increased. Back in 2013, the share was 59.9%. according to 2022 data, the number is at 84%.
    5. According to the data from 2022, users in Europe spent most of their time sending/receiving email messages, followed by instant messaging. The number of people using the internet to listen to music was comparatively lower.

    Internet Usage Statistics in Asia

    1. Asia has the highest number of internet users globally, exceeding 2.8 billion. This number does not come as a surprise considering the presence of China and India, both of which have developed a big digital population.
    2. Internet penetration is not constant across the Asian continent. For instance, East Asian regions like China and Japan have relatively high internet penetration rates. South Asia, however, has lower rates, with countries like India and Bangladesh showing varied levels of internet access.
    3. As of 2024, Southern Asia has an internet penetration rate of approximately 51.5%. This penetration rate is lower than the global standard itself.
    4. Lack of access to corresponding devices is a common reason for the lower internet penetration rates in South Asia.
    5. Even though China contributes the highest to the global digital population, it ironically has one of the largest unconnected populations in the world.

    Internet Usage Statistics in India

    1. As of early 2024, India has approximately 751.5 million internet users, marking a 2.6% increase from the previous year, which translates to about 19 million new users.
    2. The internet penetration rate in India stood at 52.4% at the start of 2024. It is lower than the global standard. Regardless, the internet penetration rate has grown drastically in India.
    3. The number of mobile internet users in India reached 1.05 billion by 2023, driven by the decreased price of smartphones and government initiatives like Digital India.
    4. In 2023, mobile devices generated 73% of India’s internet traffic. It is expected that the average mobile user spends around 9 hours per day online.
    5. The 5G technology rollout has significantly improved internet speeds across India. By August 2023, average 5G download speeds were substantially higher than those on 4G networks.
    6. Urban regions in India show higher internet usage, with 72.5% of urban men and 51.8% of urban women using the internet.
    7. In contrast, rural areas have lower internet usage with 48.7% of men and 24.6% of women accessing the internet.
    8. The e-commerce industry in India is expected to grow further by the end of 2020s. The numbers had already increased during the pandemic period.
    9. According to the Internet Inclusivity Index ranking, India has overall points of 50. It is, however, lacking in the affordability compartment. On the other hand, the availability of internet access in the country has improved.
    10. Despite the increasing digital population, India still has one of the more restricted internet scenarios in the world.

    Internet Usage by Age and Gender

    Internet Usage and Gender Statistics

    1. Globally, 70% of men use the internet compared to 65% of women as of 2023. The gender divide in internet usage is still evident.
    2. Gender parity in internet use, calculated as the ratio of female to male users, increased from 0.90 in 2019 to 0.92 in 2023.
    3. Women now outnumber men by 17% among those not using the internet, an increase from 11% in 2019.
    4. The Asia-Pacific region’s gender parity score has risen above 0.9.
    5. In Arab States, the gender parity score improved significantly from 0.79 in 2019 to 0.87 in 2023.
    6. In Africa, about 40% of men and 30% of women use the internet, lagging behind other regions.
    7. The least developed countries show low internet use and low gender parity scores despite recent progress.
    8. Small island developing States (SIDS), where two-thirds of the population use the internet, are near gender parity with a score of 0.97.
    9. In low- and middle-income countries, women are 19% less likely than men to use mobile internet.
    10. More than 30% of the 900 million women not using mobile internet live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This is reflected in the poor internet penetration rates in these regions.
    11. The gender gaps in smartphone ownership and overall mobile ownership are 17% and 7%, respectively. This disparity is reflected in the number of women and men using the internet.
    12. From 2017 to 2022, the proportion of women using mobile internet in overall low- and middle-income countries rose from 44% to 61%. The number of women not using mobile internet decreased from 1.21 billion to 900 million in the same period.
    13. The male-female divide in internet usage is least evident in Europe and the Americas, where the rates are apart by less than 5%.

    Internet Usage and Technologies

    1. The increasing adoption of mobile devices was instrumental in hiking the global digital population.
    2. Recorded in both application usage and content streaming, people are spending no less than an hour on their smartphones to browse the internet.
    3. While demarcating what contributes to mobile data traffic, streaming platforms take up the topmost position. Compared to the old days, more people are using their mobile devices to stream content from the web.
    4. There is also a noticeable increase in the amount of data used by devices monthly. Depending on the region and accounting for the price of internet access, the numbers vary between 5GB to 50 GB.
    5. Thanks to fibre-optics connectivity, the average internet speeds across the globe have also risen.
    6. The increasing deployment of 5G mobile data technology has also contributed to the rising use of the internet via mobile devices. In particular, people are using their devices for online gaming.
    7. The UAE, in general, offers the fastest mobile internet speeds, with an average download speeds of 190.72 Mbps. But the fastest broadband internet is located in Singapore, at an average download speed of 242.01 Mbps. These numbers are country averages, though.

    Internet Domain Name Statistics

    1. While the number changes drastically, there are close to 1.14 billion websites on the internet but a lot of these sites are inactive. When we count active websites, the number becomes 200 million.
    2. With more than 130 million domains, the United States has seen the highest number of registered domains. The second position is held by China.
    3. Canada, Germany, France, and Iceland are other countries with a considerable number of registered domains.
    4. WordPress remains the most popular Content Management System for building websites.
    5. .com, .org, and .net remain the most popular top-level domain names globally.

    Internet of Things Statistics

    1. The world of the Internet of Things is growing at an unprecedented rate. According to the latest data, the world is now home to more than 15 billion interconnected devices.
    2. Currently, one can find more IoT-enabled devices than non-IoT-enabled ones.
    3. The number is expected to double and reach the line of 32 billion by the start of 2026.
    4. Most IoT devices are used for remote controlling, routine automation, and productivity-boosting.
    5. The number of active IoT platforms is increasing, with more than 400.

    The Bottom Line

    We have covered some of the interesting statistics and facts about internet usage across the globe. Since we used data from trusted sources, the numbers could be low. However, we have added helpful commentary to better understand what these statistics mean for your internet experience.

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    Rajesh Namase is one of the top tech bloggers and one of the first people to turn digital marketing and blogging into a full-time profession. He has unwavering passion for technology, digital marketing, and SEO. With a penchant for exploring the digital world, Rajesh covers a wide range of topics, from Internet to the intricate universe of the technology, including WiFi, Browsers, Windows, and more.

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