The internet has become an integral component of the modern human experience. The majority of us use the internet for everything from socializing to working to entertaining ourselves, and the role it plays in our lives is ever-growing.
The growth trajectory of the internet has been incredible. The World Wide Web was first made publicly available in 1991. It had, quite literally, a handful of active users. Today, more than half the world’s population uses it.
There are many fascinating internet statistics to explore. This article will answer some of the most common questions you may have about internet access, internet traffic, eCommerce, social media, and everything else about the internet.
Internet Statistics – At a Glance
The article below will explore hundreds of fascinating figures and statistics. Below, you will find dedicated sections covering stats on internet users, devices, online shopping, social media, digital advertising, and much more.
If you’re only looking for some highlights, here are some of the most It is worth mentioning statistics you should know:
- More than 58% of the world’s population are active internet users (that’s more than 4.5 billion people)
- In wealthy countries like the United States, up to 90% of citizens have internet access
- The average internet user spends 6.5 hours a day on the internet
- More than 50% of internet use is conducted on mobile devices
- There are an estimated 1.8 billion websites on the internet
- There are more than 3.5 billion Google searches every day
- Over 2 billion people shop online every year, driving substantial economic activity
Internet Population Statistics: How Many People are Internet Users?
As of July 2020, there were over 4.57 billion active internet users.
Compare this to the world population of more than 7.8 billion, and we can see the scale of the internet’s effect on our societies.
Today, more than 58% of humans are active internet users. And remember, this figure includes babies, toddlers, young children, the elderly, and the hundreds of millions who have no access to technology at all.
This figure is rapidly growing daily. An in-depth report indicated that there were 4.33 billion active internet users in 2019.
Less than one year later, the figure was 4.57 billion. That means that more than 240 million people were introduced to the internet in the last year alone.
That same report indicates that the per-year growth rate of new internet users is around 8%. The number of internet users is growing at approximately 8x the rate of the total population growth, as technology becomes more affordable and accessible for a wider range of people.
Global Internet Access Stats: How Does Internet Access Vary Around the World?
The percentage of people with internet access is far higher in more developed countries. For example, in the United States, roughly 81% of the population uses the internet daily, according to Pew Research, and more than 91% of Americans have access to the internet. Stats in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea, and other highly developed nations are similar.
Then again, due to the large populations of many Asian countries, the vast majority of internet users reside in Asia. China alone has more than 850 million internet users, more than 2.5x the total population of the United States.
Here is the internet penetration rate (which shows what percentage of the population has access to the internet):
- North America – 90.3%
- Europe – 87.2%
- Latin America/Caribbean – 71.5%
- Middle East – 70.8%
- Oceana/Australia – 67.7%
- Asia – 58.8%
- Africa – 42.2%
The way people access the internet also differs in various countries. In developing nations, mobile internet users far exceed desktop and laptop
Internet Usage Statistics: How Much Time Do People Spend on the Internet?
In 2019, the average active internet user spent a whopping 6.5 hours online every day. Keep in mind that this figure includes all time spent online, including during working hours.
Even so, the figure is staggering. We spend more time on the internet than we do on just about any activity, apart from sleeping. What kind of effect might this be having on our societies?
The internet can certainly contribute to some of society’s problems. For example, rates of anxiety disorders in children and teens are growing fast, and some experts point to social media as a root cause.
the other hand, the internet appears to have a net-positive effect on the global population in its entirety. Several prominent studies have shown a positive correlation between access to the internet and personal happiness and satisfaction.
Researchers found that having internet access empowered individuals, giving them a better sense of security, influence, and personal freedom.
Internet Access Stats: How Do People Access the Internet?
Internet access is available via desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, specialty electronics like smart TVs, and even vehicles. Internet usage trends (such as the specific internet activities people engage in) vary significantly depending on the device used to access the web. Smartphone users, for instance, tend to spend more time inside apps, while desktop users spend the most time in web browsers.
Today, the majority of internet users access the web via mobile devices.
Approximately 50.6% of overall web traffic originates on mobile devices (mobile phones, for the most part), while desktops and laptops account for about 45.5%. The remainder comes from tablets, at only 3.75%.
This is in large part due to the affordable nature of mobile phones.
Smartphones also improve internet access because they communicate with the site web via a cell network, rather than WiFi or a wired internet connection, which is less accessible in developing nations.
Mobile devices from Apple and Android have made it easier and cheaper for citizens of developing countries to come online. Meanwhile, mobile apps have made internet content even more engaging, allowing us to interact with the internet wherever we are.
Internet Browser Statistics
Internet browsers are how most of us access the internet. Market share is split between many competitors but dominated by just a few.
Here’s a breakdown of the internet browser market share:
- Google Chrome – 69.42%
- Safari – 8.74%
- Firefox – 8.48%
- Microsoft Edge – 3.48%
- Internet Explorer – 2.88%
- Opera – 2.39%
The data above refers to data from desktop and laptop use.
For mobile phones, here’s the breakdown:
- Chrome – 64.11%
- Safari – 22.58%
- Samsung Internet – 6.75%
- UC Browser – 2.75%
- Opera – 1.79%
- Firefox – 0.48%
As you can see, Safari commands a much higher percentage of mobile browser market share, thanks to the popularity of Apple iPhones.
Mobile Internet Statistics
While we may think of the internet as something that is primarily accessed on desktop computers, this is no longer the case. Increasingly, more and
more people are using mobile devices to access the internet. Here are some interesting mobile internet stats and mobile search statistics.
- There are over 4.17 billion mobile internet users worldwide (out of a total world population of over 7.8 billion).
- The average adult in the United States spends 2 hours and 55 minutes per day on their mobile phone – much of which is spent online.
- Over 90% of total smartphone time is thought to be spent on apps. This includes mobile browser apps, however, so the line between app and internet is blurred.
- Android users can choose from over 2.7 million apps in the Google Play store, while iOS users can browse over 1.8 million apps.
- In 2019, there were over 204 billion apps downloaded onto mobile devices.
- Around 25% of apps downloaded are only used once
- Around 61% of Google search traffic originates on mobile devices in 2019.
Web Search Statistics
When faced with a problem or a question, most of us pull out our phones and search the web for it immediately. While there are many ways to search, Google is by far the dominant search engine. Here are some interesting web search statistics.
- Google Search has a 92% market share of the entire global search volume. That means more than 9 out of every 10 internet searches are conducted via Google
- The next closest competitor, Bing, has just 2.8% market share
- Google processes roughly 3.5 billion searches every day. That’s around 40,000 searches every second
- In 2019, Google generated $160.74 billion in revenue. $134.81 billion of that came from advertising, largely driven by search
- Google’s search engine has indexed hundreds of billions of pages
- Over 45% of Google searches are just one or two words long
- Over 61% of Google search volume is conducted on mobile devices
Website Statistics: How Many Websites Are There?
A huge part of the internet is websites we access daily for information, communication, and entertainment. But how many websites are there?
- According to Internet Live Stats, there are approximately 1.8 billion websites on the internet currently. However, only around 200 million of those are actively updated.
- As for domain names (example.com, or example.org), there are at least 334 million currently registered. This data was from 2016, so the figure is almost certainly higher.
- Google, the largest search engine, has over 6 billion indexed pages. Daily Google searches are estimated to be at around 3.5 billion each and every day.
- WordPress, a popular content management system, powers approximately 33.5% of all the websites online today.
- Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is considered the largest website – but it’s not the one with the most traffic. That title belongs to Google.com.
- English is used as the primary language by over 60% of all websites. The next two most popular languages on the web are Russian (8.6%) and Spanish (4%).
- The three most popular web hosting providers are Amazon, GoDaddy, and Endurance Group (Bluehost, HostGator, and others).
Each controls just over 5% of the global market share.
- There are hundreds of Top Level Domains (TLDs), from .com and .net to
country-specific ones like .co.uk. The most popular, by far, is .com, with over 145 million .com domains registered.
Social Media Statistics
Today, social media platforms make up a huge part of what we refer to as “the internet”. Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are playing an increasingly large role in all of our lives.
Here are some interesting social media statistics.
- Social media users spend on average 144 minutes per day on social platforms
- Over 90% of Americans aged 18-29 use social media
- Facebook is the biggest social media network with 2.6 billion monthly active users
- Direct messaging apps like Snapchat, WeChat, WhatsApp, and others are growing more rapidly than traditional social media sites
- 74% of Facebook users check the platform every day
For more social media stats, see our full article here.
Internet of Things (IoT) Statistics
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term that refers to a network of physical devices that use technology (such as sensors or software) that allows them to connect and exchange information with one another.
Examples of the Internet of Things include Smart Home systems, advanced factory manufacturing systems, and more.
Internet of Things is becoming increasingly more important in our daily lives, as well as in the global economy. The technology is being used in households, hospitals, factories, and even in fields of crops. Here are some interesting statistics about IoT:
Internet of Things in the Home
Smart Home devices make up the majority of consumer-facing IoT technologies. Smart assistant tech like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, etc. has made it easy for consumers to integrate various IoT tech into their homes.
- There were at least 663 million Smart Home devices in homes in 2017
- That figure is expected to rise to approximately 1.94 billion devices by 2023
- In 2019, Amazon announced that they had sold over 100 million Amazon Alexa-enabled devices (one of the most popular Smart Assistant technologies)
- By 2023, global Smart Home revenue is expected to exceed $141 billion
Internet of Things in Industry & Business
The bulk of IoT spending and integration takes place in the industrial world. This includes the use of industrial robots, smart manufacturing technologies, autonomous drones, wearable IoT tech, advanced sensor devices, and much more. Manufacturers, utility companies, and construction firms are among the most aggressive in implementing IoT technology.
- In Europe, 91% of industrial companies are investing in creating digital factories with IoT integration
- Manufacturing companies surveyed expect IoT and other digitization efforts to improve efficiency by 12%, on average
- The supply of industrial robots (most of which are internet-connected) is growing at approximately 14% per year
- Manufacturing IoT grew by a whopping 84% in 2017, representing the fastest-growing industry for IoT
- In 2017 alone, the manufacturing industry invested over $183 billion into IoT technologies
Internet of Things in Healthcare
Healthcare is another industry that is rapidly adopting IoT technology to improve efficiencies and patient outcomes. Hospitals are implementing smart patient monitors, AI-enabled imaging devices, and more. In healthcare, IoT technology has the potential to take the pressure off of medical staff, by allowing technology to assist in the monitoring of patient vitals and other key measurements.
- 60% of healthcare organizations were using IoT devices as of 2016
- 64% of organizations surveyed were using IoT patient monitors, compared to 56% using energy monitors, and 33% using imaging devices
- 87% of healthcare organizations planned to implement IoT tech by the end of 2019
- The healthcare IoT market is predicted to be worth $534.3 billion by 2025
- In healthcare, data security is very important – unfortunately, 80% of healthcare organizations that had utilized IoT tech reported at least one incidence of a security breach on IoT devices
- The healthcare industry represents an estimated 6% of the global IoT market; however, this figure is expected to grow rapidly
Internet of Things in Agriculture
Agriculture, or farming, doesn’t seem like it should be a high-tech industry.
However, with the massive scale of modern agriculture, today’s farms are becoming increasingly automated and “smart”. IoT is helping farmers gather key data about their crops, such as moisture levels, disease prevalence, and even soil health and nutrient content. Agriculture giants now use smart sensors spread throughout their fields, as well as autonomous drones to survey huge areas of cropland. Researchers hope that IoT technology can help increase yields, reduce water and fertilizer use, and improve efficiencies to help agriculture keep up with the earth’s growing population.
- The global “smart farming” market is predicted to be worth $23 billion by 2022
- Another analysis predicts that the precision agriculture industry may be worth up to $43 billion by 2025
- More than 50% of planted crop acres in the United States utilize guidance systems, such as GPS
- Around 25% of planted crop acres in the US are “soil mapped” using GPS, a technique that allows farmers to adjust inputs based on growing conditions
- Automated mechanical guidance and steering systems are also very popular for large-scale agriculture. A USDA report found that over 50% of acres planted with rice in the United States were planted, fertilized, and harvested using automated agricultural equipment
- Despite its prevalence, smart agriculture tech represents only around 4% of the global IoT market
- The biggest issue holding back smart agricultural tech is a lack of connectivity. In the US, around 40% of farms lack broadband internet connectivity
Internet Advertising Statistics
The internet has become a powerful tool for businesses to reach new customers. Paid online advertising, in particular, has become all but essential for modern companies. Today, most companies pay for some form of digital advertising, on channels including social media and paid search ads. And, as consumers, we are faced with what seems like hundreds of advertisements daily. Here are some fascinating internet advertising statistics.
- In 2018, roughly 66% of companies invested in some form of paid online advertising
- Among the businesses surveyed, 86% utilized social media ads, 80% purchased display ads, 66% used paid search marketing, and 43% used retargeted ads
- Although more businesses utilized social media advertising than paid search advertising, paid search was a larger channel overall, with 17% of global ad spend (compared to 13% for social media)
- Television advertising, commanding 29% of global advertising spend, is the only advertising channel that is larger than online advertising
- Nearly half of all online users had an ad-blocking software or extension installed on at least one device
eCommerce & Online Shopping Statistics
Online shopping is becoming so popular that it can just be called “shopping”; Apart from staples like groceries, most people in wealthy countries now take to the internet often to purchase goods and services. Here are some fascinating eCommerce statistics.
- Over 2.1 billion people are expected to shop online in 2021
- In 2019, global retail eCommerce sales exceeded $3.53 trillion dollars (USD)
- Amazon alone sold an estimated $275.86 billion worth of goods online
- An estimated 28% of online sales in 2019 took place on a mobile device
- Over 50% of online shoppers reported that having free shipping was their #1 factor in deciding whether or not to make a purchase
- In Q2 of 2019, mobile device users accounted for approximately 65% of retail website visits but generated only 46% of actual orders
- In 2019, the average value of an online order was $128.08 for desktop users and $96.88 for mobile users.
The Internet & The Economy
Some of the most attractive internet statistics relate to its vital relationship with the global economy. The internet is involved in just about every aspect of the modern economy, from direct sales to communication to how most workers do their jobs.
Take eCommerce sales, for example. eCommerce makes up over 15% of the total retail sales in the United States, and the figure is growing rapidly.
As more and more business activity moves online, to a large extent to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, eCommerce sales are becoming even more fundamental to the overall economy. The ratio of retail e-commerce sales is a closely watched figure among economists and business analysts.
Here’s another example of how fundamental the internet is to the world of business: 7 out of 10 of the most valuable companies in the world are all tech-related. Tech firms like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and China’s Tencent are among the most valuable publicly traded companies worldwide.
The Future of the Internet
The internet has fundamentally changed our lives. It’s been around for about 50 years – although its use has only been widespread for around half that time. It’s difficult to say what the internet may look like in the future, but it’s a fascinating question to ponder.
In 2019, the Pew Research Center surveyed several technology experts, asking them what the future of the tech world may be. Most were optimistic, noting that the internet has the power to help us work less, collaborate and communicate more seamlessly, and even live longer.
In the future, the internet will likely unlock new ways to communicate, allow us to track our health data more accurately, and potentially completely transform the way we work and live. It could change a lot about our lives for the better – but there are also substantial risks.
If the right policies and public attitudes are not implemented, the internet could also cause negative changes. A reduction in privacy, a growing dependence on technology, and worsening economic inequality are just a few of the concerns policymakers must keep in mind as they seek to regulate the internet.
While the real future of the internet is impossible to predict, suffice it to say that the online world is here to say – and it’s only bound to become an even more integral part of our lives.
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