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NEWS29 January 2016

Nearly half of global population now online

Asia Pacific Europe Latin America Middle East and Africa News North America Trends UK

UK — The number of internet users has grown by 10% over the last year to 3.42bn, or 46% of the world’s population, according to a new report. 

The report, Digital in 2016, from We Are Social, also revealed that there are currently 2.31bn social media users globally. Most of these are mobile social media users: there are 1.97bn of these, representing 27% global penetration respectively. 

Of all regions, Asia Pacific recorded the largest absolute growth in internet users in the last year, with an increase of nearly 200m users – representing 12% year-on-year growth. This equates to half a million people using the internet for the first time every single day. 

With regard to individual market penetration, Iceland came out on top with 98% penetration and North Korea came out bottom, with just 0.03% penetration. 

"More than half of the world’s adult population now uses the internet, and well over one-third of the adult population uses social media at least once a month," the report stated. "Our study of the Key 30 economies – which account for 70% of the world’s population – shows that nearly three-quarters of internet users access the net every single day, and this is still increasing at an impressive rate. People now expect everything to be connected, from their real-time public transport schedule, to the voting system, to real-time stock availability in physical world stores.

"The internet is no longer just an information portal; it’s the ‘electricity’ of modern society and commerce connecting us to the people and things we care about most. As a result, businesses and brands need to explore how connectivity can improve every element of their business, not just their advertising."