Over 46% of the World’s Population is Now Online

number of internet users

3.4 billion people around the world now have internet access, according to the latest statistics from InternetLiveStats.com. According to our calculations using the most recent world population data from GeoHive, that’s 46.1% of the global population that now can get online, up from just 17.6% a decade ago in 2006.

Internet adoption rates have accelerated rapidly in recent years thanks to the penetration of mobile devices with broadband connectivity. Since 2007, mobile broadband penetration has increased 12 times over, and it’s estimated that roughly 70% of people on earth could have 3G access in their area. The average internet speed around the world currently sits at 5.1 Mbps, according to Akamai’s State of the Internet report.

Another reason for the sharp increase in internet adoption is the rising affordability of broadband. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), broadband internet is now affordable in 111 countries, “with the cost of a basic broadband plan corresponding to less than 5% of Gross National Income per capita.”

Of course, there’s still 53.9% of the world’s population, nearly 4 billion people, that don’t have access to the internet. However, the speed with which internet adoption rates are increasing is very promising and the steps that are being taken to further improve global internet access, more people will continue to get online.

Some Americans Still Don’t Use the Internet

While internet adoption rates are skyrocketing around the world in both developed and developing countries, it’s interesting to note that a significant percentage of Americans still don’t have the internet. According to new Pew Research Center data, 13% of U.S. adults don’t use the internet.

While the government has been trying to promote internet adoption across the country, the size of this group of U.S. adults who don’t use the web has remained fairly constant over the last few years.

According to previous reports from Pew, some of the most commonly cited reasons Americans don’t use the internet include cost barriers and the perception that using the internet is too difficult.

While internet adoption rates might be stagnating here in the U.S., they should continue to rise rapidly in the rest of the world in the coming years, and very soon, more than half of the world will be online.

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