Internet Statistics & Trends (2022)

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

January 21, 2022

Global Internet usage is rising at an astronomical pace. With millions of internet users coming online each day, it won’t be long until the whole world is online.

Certainly, the biggest internet trend of the past 20 years is that an increasing amount of people are coming online, therefore the whole world is getting connected.

At VPN Geeks, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of internet statistics and trends (which is constantly updated).

#1 | 56.1% of the World have Internet Access

“Global Internet Usage” is the term used to measure the number of people who are using the internet. The most recent, April 2019 Global Internet usage sits at 56.1%. Meaning over half of the world has internet access. Back in 2005, this figure was just 16%.

3.2 billion people worldwide have internet access.

#2 | 55% of Web Content is in English

Over half of the internet’s content is in English. This statistic is interesting because just 27% of global internet users speak English. Therefore 28% must be using the internet and accessing English content as a foreign language.

#3 | Over 4+ Billion Global Internet Users

On time of writing the live internet, stats reported that there were 4,197, 825, 944 global internet users, when I finished this article there were 4,197, 967, 550.  This figure is rising by tens of thousands each hour and hundreds of millions each year. Just during my writing today, the figure has risen by over 141 thousand.

To be clear, we’re talking about an internet user who can access the web via any sort of device, mobile, gaming, tablet, PC or another device.

Unfortunately even with the new improved technology, accessing Netflix is not fail-proof. It might take some digging around to find a server that will allow you to access and stream Netflix.

Thankfully that’s quite easy to do on NordVPN, as you can simply search through the list of Netflix servers on their support pages.

I suppose making these details publicly available is not really the best idea, because it then tells Netflix which servers to ban. Perhaps they might need to hide their list of streaming servers in the future to help them stay ahead of the game. Just a thought!

#4 | 1st Billion Global Internet Users Reached in 2005

This is not a new stat, however, it does put internet usage into perspective. The second billion global internet users were reached in 2010 and the third billion in 2014. Therefore the volume of internet users is rising by millions each year.

In 2019 we are well into our 4th billion internet users

#5 | China has 829,000,000+ Internet Users

Despite having so many internet users, just 58.4% of the Chinese population has access to the internet (the % of the population online is known as “penetration”). When compared to other developed countries like the UK this figure is quite low. Therefore, when the internet has fully penetrated the population, the number of Chinese online will be off the chart.

China gains approx. 15 million new Internet users per year

#6 | Hong Kong had 6,461,894 Internet Users in Dec 2018

When compared to the whole of China, the autonomous state of Hong Kong has a far more sizable internet penetration of 86.3%. Meaning that they just need another 13.7% and they will have internet spread across the nation. Both the internet usage and the way that the citizens of Hong Kong interact with the internet differs from the rest of China.

0.1% of China uses Facebook, while 69.4% of Hong Kong citizens use Facebook

#7 | 11 New Internet Users Per Second

The growth of internet users worldwide is snowballing, with the majority of internet users accessing the web on their mobile devices. Some analysts are predicting that the speeding up of internet users could be due to more sophisticated monitoring.

No matter which way you look at it 1 million new internet users per day is a pretty impressive figure. Since 2018 there have been 366 million new internet users.

There are 1 million new internet users each day

#8 | India has gained 100 million internet users in the past 12 months

A great deal of the new internet usage is coming from the developing world, with more than a quarter coming from India alone. In March 2019 almost half – 40.9% of India has internet access. This is up a massive 10% from last year.

India has 560,000,000 Internet users

The Emerging World is Coming Online

At first glance, we can see that the trend is that China is going to be taking over the online space very soon (certainly in terms of the number of users). They already have almost 1 billion internet users and just over half of the Chinese population is online.

However, in saying that they do have their own social media networks and the internet has quite heavy geo-restrictions. Furthermore, the whole of Asia is quickly gaining internet users to catch up with the rest of the world.

So what does this mean for the internet as a whole?

It doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing many Chinese people in the online space any time soon. With just 0.1% of the Chinese population is subscribed to Facebook. They do have their own Chinese social media like QQ and Ozone. On the other hand, 69.4% of Hong Kong internet users are subscribed to Facebook, which is a very different picture.

Accessing the internet via a smartphone is the trend in the emerging world, therefore something that computer developers should take into consideration. Eg. By making all web apps responsive. People in the developing world can’t afford to buy several expensive devices like tablets and PCs so opt for a multi-purpose smartphone.

9 | 97% of Vietnamese Residents have a Mobile Phone

In the emerging world, Vietnam comes up top when it comes to mobile phone ownership. Of the remaining 3%, 1 % have access to a shared phone and just

2% of the Vietnamese population don’t have access to a mobile phone

#10 | 3.48 Billion Social Media Users in 2019

Sure, the amount of people now on social media is staggering, however, what’s more, interesting is that the vast majority are on mobile devices.

3.26 billion people use social media on mobile devices

#11 | 50.4% Internet Users are from Asia

More than half of internet users (50.4%) are now from Asia, and the figure is growing by the millions every day. The developing world is now catching up and coming online with great speed. The rest of the world is coming online, however, a lot of countries already have almost saturated internet usage, like the UK where 94.2% of the population is already online.

49.6% Internet users are from the world combined

#12 | Internet Growth of Bangladesh is 91,961 % over 20 years

Over the past 20 years, Bangladesh has seen almost 100 thousand percent increase in internet users. That is the largest increase the world over. Clearly illustrating how the developing world is quickly coming online. There is still room for growth, with just 54.8%  of the population being online. Over the same period, 2000-2019 a close second is:

Nigeria with a 55,716 % increase in internet users

#13 | 89% of the developing world owns a Mobile phone

The average number of people who own a mobile phone in the developing world is 89%, with lows of 68% in Venezuela and highs of 97% in Vietnam. Surprisingly India is quite low down on the list with just 70% of the population owning a mobile phone.

6% of the developing world (on average) do not use a mobile phone

#14 | The Internet Turns 30 this Year

The world wide web has evolved considerably over the past 30 years. Uptake was slow at first with devices being expensive. Initially, we could only access the internet via a computer, and computers were expensive. Furthermore, there was the issue of access, there was not a massive infrastructure of optic fiber in the 80’s and 90’s so we had to rely on things like a super slow dial-up connection.

It took 16 years to reach the first billion internet users

#15 | People Spend an Average of 6 hrs 42 min Online Each Day

Increasingly used for all forms of communication, from sharing information, learning to connect with friends and family. People turn to their phone for a lot of hours per day.

#16 | Some Americans Check their Phone 300 Times Per Day

There is no doubt about it people have become inseparable from their phones. The figure of 300 checks per day was an estimate from some users. However, it seems that even when on vacation people can’t put their phones down. Even when on vacation:

Americans use their phones up to 80+ times per day

#17 | 1.2 Billion Years Online in 2019

If we add up the average time that users spend online (6hrs and 42 mins) and multiply this figure by the number of internet users around the globe, then you’ll get to this enormous figure. This year alone, people will spend over a billion years online, mind-boggling.

But what are people doing when they are on their phones for all of this time?

Google, Youtube and Facebook are the most visited websites (in that order)

Americans use their phones up to 80+ times per day

#18 | Singapore = Fastest Internet Connection of 195MBPS

If we are spending so long online, it’s important that we can maximize our time, so we’ll need faster internet access. As well as faster internet access, there will need to be more channels that we can access so that the networks don’t get fried. I guess that is where 5G will come in. The good news is that internet speeds are increasing, with Singapore leading the way with their broadband speed.

Whereas Singapore has a mobile download speed of 55.50Mbps (No.6 in the world)

But what are people doing when they are on their phones for all of this time?

Google, Youtube and Facebook are the most visited websites (in that order)

Americans use their phones up to 80+ times per day

#19 | Global Mobile Download Speed is 25.27Mbps

This figure – 25.27Mbps is an average of all of the global mobile networks. Norway currently has the fastest mobile internet at 67.34Mbps download speed. Surprisingly the US is not in the list of 24 fastest mobile access. However, it does feature in the fastest broadband access list.

The global average upload speed is just 10.05Mbps

#20 | Google is the No.1 Website in the World

Whether you are looking at SimilarWeb or Alexa to find out more information about Google’s ranking, you’ll find that they are the No.1 most visited site worldwide and in the US.  On average people visit Google for 9 minutes and view up to 8 pages. Google is most visited by people in the US (22.9% of traffic is from the US). Most people (94%) access Google directly to the website to search for something.

Google gets 63.14 Billion visits per day

The global average upload speed is just 10.05Mbps

#21 | Facebook is Still the Most Popular Social Network

The traffic statistics don’t lie. Facebook is still the third most popular website according to Similarweb and Alexa. Users spend 11 minutes on the site during a visit. However, I’d expect they come back for more later in most instances.  With a third less traffic than Google (eg. 42billion fewer visitors) Facebook is certainly popular. However, searching seems to be the most popular activity online.

Facebook gets 21.18B visits per day

#22 | Amazon is the Most Popular E-Commerce Website

Despite many proclaiming Chinese websites like Taobao and Tmall trumping Amazon, it’s not true. Amazon is still the No.1 most visited e-commerce store in the world. They are No.14 in the most visited websites in the world.  With 2.48B daily visits, Amazon is still up top when it comes to online shopping.

People spend on average 5 minutes on Amazon. The amount of traffic that Amazon gets is significantly lower than Google, suggesting that shopping isn’t the most popular hobby for the west. Finding out information, eg. searching, seems to be the most popular activity (if Google’s figures have anything to do with it).

70.68% of Amazon’s traffic is from the US

#23 | Wikipedia is No.10 Most Popular Site

To see if I was right in people having more of a love for searching for information than shopping I looked up Wikipedia (the free online encyclopedia). Currently, Wikipedia is the tenth most popular site in the world with over 5 billion visitors per day.

#24 | Another Search Engine = No.4 on Most Popular Sites

The Chinese search engine is currently the 4th most popular website. Due to the fact that most of the internets users are from China, this is no surprise. In fact you’d think it would feature higher up on the list. However again we’re seeing the trend of search engines being the most visited websites around.

Baidu gets 10.53B visitors per day (half of facebooks traffic)

#25 | There are 550,000 Active Podcasts

People are getting busier and the online space is full of noise. For that reason, people often like to download content and consume it on the go. Perhaps that is why over a quarter of the US population now listen to podcasts every month.

Podcasts can be easily downloaded onto your mobile device and listened to while you are running, cleaning or driving. Making podcasts an increasingly popular way to consume content.

64% of US citizens are familiar with the term “podcast”

#26 | Youtube is the 2nd Most Popular Site

Youtube will be the last website on the top 10 websites that we’ll check out. Mainly because it’s No.2. Therefore, people are really into watching free videos. In fact, as I write this I’m listening to a youtube video. So it’s not surprising that Youtube is up there. Netflix, on the other hand, is no 18 with their paid video streaming service.

Watching videos and searching are the most popular ways to use the internet, after that, there is shopping and communicating. Youtube is by far the most captivating site (statistically speaking) as people spend 21 minutes on average on their site.

Youtube gets 25.19B visits per day

#27 | 30% Increase in Google Searches with the Suffix “Video”

People are searching Google for video’s a lot more this year than they have before. In fact, people search for a term with the word “video”  on the end is the 4th most popular search term.

#28 | 92% of Internet Users Watch Videos Each Month

That is a lot of people – we’re talking about 4 billion people who are using the internet to watch videos. Therefore it is safe to say that video is becoming increasingly popular worldwide.

#29 | Games and ESports on the Increase

Whether it is watching video games on Twitch or Youtube, there has been a massive increase in the demand for watching people playing games. On youtube alone 200m people watch gaming video streams every day. Billions of hours are spent watching other people playing video games.

100,504,708 viewing hours have been spent watching League of Legends

#30 | 125 Million Fortnite Players

Fortnite has only increased in popularity since its release in 2017. Since then other games have come online, such as Apex Legends, that now has 50 million players. Despite being the most watched game online League of Legends has just 27 million players.

Internet gaming is becoming an increasingly popular pastime in 2019. In part, this is due to the fact that you can build a community, make friends and create your identity around the games that you love.

Fortnight made $3 billion in 2018

#31 | Half of Chinese Internet Users Use Voice

Voice is a trend that is on the rise. People are using voice commands to search for things on their phone. Voice commands are becoming increasingly popular not only on phones, with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) – voice has become something that people use on their phones and in the future with other devices.

20 % of mobile queries are voice searches

#32 | 5.7 Million Australians own a Smart Speaker

In Australia, the smart speaker is taking off, of their 19.3 million population, over a quarter (5.7million) own a smart speaker. Just 5.5% are Apple Homepods, 14.2% are Amazon Echo and 12.1% is undefined.

68.2% Aussie smart speakers are “Google Home” Smart Speakers

#33 | 39.8% Growth in US Smart Speakers

Over the past year, 19.1 million US citizens installed a smart speaker base. The most popular US smart speaker is are those from Amazon (with 61.1% market share). However, over the past year, Google has been gaining popularity and is up 8.9% on last years figures.

66.4 million US citizens own a smart speaker

#34 | 288 Million New Social Media Users in 12 Months

There is certainly a HUGE rise in social media users with more people coming online. However, the way that social media is being used is also evolving. People are focusing more on Storytelling and using video to communication.

#35 | Social Media will Become More Focused on Storytelling

People want to know the face behind the brand, the story about the day to day life of the people. They want to meet the people that run the company, rather than consume generic content.

Therefore in 2019 we’ll see the rise of storytelling with social media. Initially, stories were a Snapchat thing. That is where the online stories began, and then they were rolled out to Facebook and Instagram due to their massive success. We’ll see this trend continue long into 2019 and beyond. Telling stories being the most captivating way to interact with your audience in 2019.

Snapchat Stories are reportedly viewed 10 billion times a day

#36 | AI Will Be Used in More Sophisticated Ways

Going forward we’re going to see AI being utilized online to give us a much more personalized and streamlined experience. This will range from audience segmentation (eg. Questionnaires to put users into user groups) and advancements in chatbots.

#37 | By 2020 85% of Online Interactions will be with Chatbots

The fact is, customer support normally repeat the same thing over and over. To effectively enhance the experience, chatbots can be used to point you in the right direction.

We saw this being introduced a long time with things like Online banking, where the whole interaction can be carried out with voice or number commands. In the next year, this trend will fully penetrate the online space with chatbots becoming more advanced and helpful. Experts predict that 85% of our online chats will be with bots.

In Conclusion

The online space is maturing, with more users coming online, and people improving how they interact in the online space. Voice for instance, greatly speeds up the amount of time it takes to search. We’ve only scraped the tip of the iceberg here, as voice also enters into the podcast and other spheres.

More internet users are surfing the web on their smartphones, especially in the developing world. Mobile is the No.1 way that people are accessing the world wide web in 2019. Additionally, video is becoming increasingly popular, whether it be live streaming or watching pre-recorded videos.

We are going to see a lot more AI, online storytelling, personalized brands, more games, gamers, and faster internet speeds. In a nutshell, things are only going to get better when it comes to using the internet as the whole world jumps into the world wide web.

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