As of 2022, 69% of the world’s population, or 4.9 billion people, actively use the internet. Trends indicate that the number of internet users grows at an annual rate of 4%, meaning that roughly 196 million new people access the internet each year.
To understand how fast internet users have grown, consider that in 2000 only 361 million people worldwide used the internet. That equates to only 6% of the world’s population at that time.
37% of the world’s population, or 3 billion people, have never used the internet and do not have a way to access it. Most of those in this group live in Africa, even though the Arabian Peninsula contains a high penetration of internet users. Africa’s number of internet users has increased from 7.6% to 33% from 2009 - 2021, but the continent still lags significantly behind Europe and North America.
Based on 2020 numbers, the average internet user spends a minimum of 145 minutes online each day, or about 17 hours per week. American internet users have the highest weekly usage, accumulating 24 hours per week on the internet.
Over the last decade, the amount of time users spent on the internet grew by 62%, with the average person accessing the internet for only 90 minutes per day in 2012.
Smartphones have changed the way people access the internet and made the online world more accessible to the general population. Between 2021 to 2022 alone, 268 million smartphone users were added globally. The growth of smartphone users has helped the mobile share of internet usage grow from 43.7% to 55% in just 5 years. It is projected that by 2025, 72.6% of worldwide smartphone users will access the internet solely from their phones.
Internet usage tends to vary by age. In The United States, most of those accessing the internet were between 18 and 29. Only 8% of those 65 years and older factored among internet users in the country.
China leads the world with the highest number of internet users, but only slightly more than half of its total population uses the internet. Similarly, India holds the second-largest share of internet users, though that only accounts for 20% of their population. Meanwhile, western countries like The United Kingdom and The United States maintain internet penetration rates of over 90%.
The 10 countries with the highest amount of internet users are as follows:
China - 1 billion India - 658 million The United States - 307.2 million Indonesia - 204.7 million Brazil - 165.3 million Russia - 129.8 million Japan - 118.3 million Nigeria - 109.2 million Mexico - 96.87 million Germany - 78.02 million
As internet adoption continues to grow in countries like India and China, expect to see the number of internet users represent a larger portion of the population in these countries. It is also expected that the internet will continue to become more accessible across Africa over the next decade.
Here are the top 10 countries with most internet users:
China leads the world with over a billion internet users.
Only 33% of people in Africa have internet access.