In 2021, East Asia accounted for approximately 1.2 billion of the world’s internet users, followed by Southern Asia with 951.11 million. The global digital population in January 2021 amounted to over 4.66 billion internet users in total.
Internet user growth worldwide
With constantly declining smartphone prices and improvements in digital infrastructure, the increasing connectivity among global online audiences is moving along at a steady pace. Many previously underserviced regions have begun to profit from mobile online connections, leapfrogging the desktop PC development phase and starting out as mobile-first societies. The fastest growing online populations based on relative year-on-year user growth include many African nations, led by the Western Sahara where online audiences grew 364 percent annually.
Despite the growing number of internet users in Africa, the continent still lags behind other regions in terms of online adoption. Online usage penetration in all African markets was below the global average of 57 percent. The highest on the continent was Southern Africa with a penetration rate of 51 percent, Middle Africa was ranked last worldwide. Middle Africa had an online penetration rate of just 12 percent, highlighting the ongoing struggles for connectivity but also the untapped digital potential within Africa.
Number of worldwide internet users in 2021, by region
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Statista. (July 14, 2021). Number of worldwide internet users in 2021, by region (in millions) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved May 27, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/249562/number-of-worldwide-internet-users-by-region/
Statista. "Number of worldwide internet users in 2021, by region (in millions)." Chart. July 14, 2021. Statista. Accessed May 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/249562/number-of-worldwide-internet-users-by-region/
Statista. (2021). Number of worldwide internet users in 2021, by region (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: May 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/249562/number-of-worldwide-internet-users-by-region/
Statista. "Number of Worldwide Internet Users in 2021, by Region (in Millions)." Statista, Statista Inc., 14 Jul 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/249562/number-of-worldwide-internet-users-by-region/
Statista, Number of worldwide internet users in 2021, by region (in millions) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/249562/number-of-worldwide-internet-users-by-region/ (last visited May 27, 2022)