Internet Usage Around The World
At times, it seems that the entire globe is connected to the internet. However, internet connectivity is available to less than half the global population. Around the world, approximately 40% of the population uses the internet. In developed countries, that number jumps up to 78% and in developing countries, it is 32%. This usage has increased by around 7 million users since 2005. When broken down by region, internet usage looks like this: Europe (75%), the Americas (65%), Arab states (41%), Asia and the Pacific (32%), and Africa (19%). Given that so many people from so many countries have internet access, it would stand to reason that online content is available in just as many languages. However, English websites make up 55% of online content, while only 27% of users speak this language. Another 6% of online content is in Russian, while only 3% of users are Russian-speaking. Spanish and German content each make up 5% individually, while Spanish speakers make up 8% of all internet users and German speakers make up 4%.
All of these factors have significant influence over the time people spend actually using the internet. This article takes a closer look at which countries spend the most time online.
Countries That Spend The Most Time Online
Of all the countries in the world with internet connections, Canada, the US, and the UK spend the most amount of time online every month. Internet users in Canada report spending approximately 43.5 hours monthly online. In the US, the average usage rate is around 35.3 hours per month. And the UK is online for about 32.3 hours monthly. Of these top users, the US and the UK have what is considered pervasive surveillance and censorship of content available to users. The high usage rate of these countries can be attributed to both the number of connections and the primary language - English.
Following the top three countries are South Korea (27.7 hours monthly), France (26.6 hours monthly), and Brazil (25.8 hours monthly). South Korea has the fastest internet connectivity speed in the world and approximately 92.4% of the population has internet access. In France, only 80.7% of the population has an internet connection. By 2011, approximately 45% of the population of Brazil had internet connection.
Why People Connect To The Internet
People use the internet for a variety of reasons, including entertainment, research, work, and news. In a survey to measure why users go online, researchers identified 4 primary factors. The principal reasons for people to connect to the internet are: connecting with family and friends, expressing opinions and being heard, researching new topics, and increasing convenience (of shopping, finding directions, and entertainment options). In the US, the UK, and Brazil, the most commonly cited reason for connecting to the internet is to research new topics. Interestingly, in China and India (where users connect for 13.5 and 11.9 hours a month), users were more likely to cite being motivated to go online in order to express their opinions and be heard. This feedback comes from 2 countries with relatively high censorship of available internet content.
In the future, researchers predict that internet connectivity and time spent online will increase the world over. Some technology experts even believe that the world is headed to a state of constant connectivity, when the internet will be constantly available with no need to dial up, log in, or have an individual subscription. With this, will come a decreased level of user privacy.