Home Page
Press Releases

Worldwide Internet Users Top 1.5 Billion in 2008
China Tops 235M Internet Users

May 10, 2009 -
The worldwide number of Internet users surpassed 1.59 billion in 2008—up from only 2M+ in 1990, 45M in 1995 and 430M in 2000. Worldwide yearly increase in Internet users is 140M to 145M in the next five years, which means the 2B mark will happen in 2011 or 2012. Much of current and future Internet user growth is coming from populous countries—especially the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China. In the next decade many Internet users will be supplementing PC Internet usage with Smartphone, mobile phone and mobile device Internet usage. In developing countries many new Internet users will come from cell phone and Smartphone Internet usage. China now leads with over 235M Internet users at year-end 2008. The two most populous countries—China and India—are now in 1st and 3rd place in Internet users.

Top 15 Countries in Internet Usage

Year-end 2008: Internet Users (#M) Share %
1. China 235.10 14.76
2. U.S. 234.24 14.71
3. India 108.41 6.81
4. Japan 99.01 6.22
5. Germany 57.03 3.58
6. UK 44.89 2.82
7. Brazil 41.17 2.59
8. France 39.46 2.48
9. Italy 37.37 2.35
10. South Korea 36.94 2.32
11. Russia 35.89 2.25
12. Indonesia 33.30 2.09
13. Canada 26.06 1.64
14. Mexico 25.45 1.60
15. Spain 22.91 1.44
Top 15 Countries 1,077.23 67.65
Worldwide Total 1,592.40 100

Internet user penetration is now over 70% for the leading countries and future growth is limited for these countries. Internet user penetration for the populous and developing countries remains low, but has room to grow. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) have Internet penetration of 21%, 25%, 10% and 14%, respectively. Wireless web usage will account for much of future Internet user growth in many developing countries. 

More information is available in "Internet Users By Country", a yearly market research report by eTForecasts. The report estimates and forecasts the number of Internet users and broadband subscribers for 57 countries and the six main regions of the world for 1990 through 2014.

eTForecasts publishes market research reports for the PC and Internet industries.