About This Statistic
This statistic shows the internet penetration rate as of January 2017, by global region. As of that period, North America was ranked first with an online penetration rate of 88 percent, followed by Western Europe with 84 percent. The global average penetration rate was 50 percent, an increase from 35 percent in 2013.
Global internet penetration rate – additional information
The development of telecommunication network and technology infrastructure has a direct impact on internet penetration and internet access. In light of the slow or underdevelopment of broadband technology in some countries, many developing online markets rely on mobile connections for internet access. More than half of the global mobile phone population accessed the internet from their mobile phone, a figure that is forecast to jump to almost 65 percent in 2019. The number of internet users worldwide has been constantly on the rise thanks to the advance of mobile technology and the ongoing modernization of countries. Just over one billion people used internet in 2005; this figure stood at an estimate of 3.5 billion internet users in 2016.
Asia has the largest internet user base – nearly 1.8 billion internet users in this region alone – with East Asia accounting for the majority of this share. Despite the large volume of internet users in this region, Asia is far from being a leader in regards of online penetration. East Asia, for instance, had an online penetration rate of 57 percent as of September 2016, slightly above the global average that year, which stood at 49 percent. North America is a clear global leader, as the region’s online penetration rate stood at 88 percent. North American country Bermuda, which is an island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, has the highest internet penetration rate in the world – about 98 percent as of 2015.