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Worldwide Internet Users Top 1.8 Billion in 2009
China Tops 310M Internet Users

July 12, 2010 -
The worldwide number of Internet users surpassed 1.83 billion in 2009—up from only 2M+ in 1990, 45M in 1995, 430M in 2000 and 1.09B in 2005. Worldwide yearly increase in Internet users is at least 160M in the next five years, which means the 2B mark will happen in 2010. 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 310M Internet users at year-end 2009. 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 310.90 17.03
2. U.S. 244.78 13.41
3. India 125.11 6.85
4. Japan 102.32 5.61
5. Germany 60.36 3.31
6. Brazil 51.13 2.80
7. UK 47.01 2.58
8. Russia 43.02 2.36
9. France 42.88 2.35
10. Italy 40.05 2.19
11. Indonesia 38.41 2.10
12. South Korea 38.26 2.10
13. Mexico 27.76 1.51
14. Canada 27.12 1.49
15. Spain 25.22 1.38
Top 15 Countries 1,224.33 67.07
Worldwide Total 1,825.41 100

Internet user penetration is now over 75% for the leading countries and future growth is limited for these countries. Internet user penetration for the populous and developing countries remains low and has room to grow. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) have Internet penetration of 26%, 30%, 11% and 23%, 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 2015.

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