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Internet World Stats News

Number 038 - January, 2009 - Personal edition for {!name}

The Internet Hits 1.5 Billion

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Since January 23, 2009 several blogs and news media websites are publishing misleading headlines saying "Internet users worldwide surpass 1 billion in December", "Internet Usages Reaches Over 1 Billion" and similar erroneous expressions. To justify their biased information, the authors cite this press release from comScore, Global Internet Audience Surpasses 1 billion Visitors.

The journalists got the title right, but did not read the fine print and assumed that a part is equal to the whole Internet. Only a few writers got things right, TechCrunch among others. We feel that we have to say something in order to set the record straight, and defend our numbers.

Internet users in the world already hit one and a half billion persons approximately in July of 2008. The current estimates of Internet users for 2008 year-end (2008Q4) according to our database, which includes ALL the Internet users universe, comprises over 1,573,269,743 persons worldwide. The Internet Penetration Rate is 23.4%, considering a global population of 6,708,755,756 persons according to the U.S. Census Bureau data.

2008Q4 World Internet Stats

Internet had a fantastic expansion during 2008. All world regions show growth, however, at very different rates. This is quite normal due to cultural, social, and economic diferences prevailing in each part of the world as well as the already existing number of users in each region.

We did not want to publish this information yet, because we have not finished updating all the Internet World Stats website. Circumstances beyond our control have forced us to speak up and publish parcially updated statistics, sorry about this. More statistics updates will be published soon as they become available and will be announced in the
IWS blog , and in this Newsletter, of course.

The following table, displayed for the first time, gives the yearly growth rate (2007 vs. 2008) for each region of the world, based on the Internet World Stats database figures, the estimated number of users and the penetration rates.

Internet World Users Report
Year-end 2008 by World Regions









19.8 %

5.4 %

America, Caribbean



33.6 %

19.8 %

America, Central



10.8 %

19.0 %

America, North



3.5 %

73.0 %

America, South



63.2 %

32.7 %




26.8 %

17.1 %




14.0 %

49.4 %

Middle East



34.6 %

22.9 %

Oceania, Australia



7.4 %

59.9 %

Total World



19.2 %

23.4 %

Source: Internet World Stats Database, accessed on December 31, 2008. Comparison figures are 2007 and 2008 year-end data. Please Note: Mexico is included in Central America, and Turkey is included in Europe. P.R. is the Penetration Rate. Copyright © 2009, Miniwatts Marketing Group.

From the information on this table, useful growth trends are evident for the various geographic regions. The number of Internet users in the world has grown by 253,397,634 persons in 2008, this represents a 19.2% yearly increase with regard to the number of estimated users that existed one year ago at year-end 2007.

The "early adopters" (North America and Australia) show the smallest growth. This is considered a normal behavior because the "early adopters" have already completed their fast growth phase. The Internet penetration rates are already very high in those areas. The territories and regions identified as "late adopters" logically are just initiating their high growth rates. South America, the Middle East the Caribbean, and Africa show this trend, with corresponding high growth rates of 63.2%, 34.6%, 33.6% and 19.8%.

Internet users in Europe increased by 48,709,081 persons. The European region is finalizing its fast growth phase, evidenced by the low 14.0% growth rate. Asia, on the other hand, is just starting its high growth phase and the current growth rate of 26.8% will surely go up in the future. Asia Internet users increased by 136,689,484 persons. Asia is by far the region with the largest population of Internet users. The current low Internet penetration rate in Asia indicates that there is much potential for future Internet usage growth in Asia.

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Recommended Website

The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009 of the World Economic Forum can be accessed online. The report contains a detailed profile for 134 global economies. It is available in PDF and also as an interactive report at World Economic Forum. Through its reports and activities the Global Competitiveness Network of the World Economic Forum identifies impediments to growth and thereby helps stimulate the development of relevant strategies to achieve sustained economic progress. The GCN team works with leading academics worldwide to ensure latest thinking and research on global competitiveness are incorporated into its reports.

The IWS Newsletter now has over one thousand subscribers from many different countries and territories. This list is proof of the global reach of the Internet: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. If your country is missing, please let me know for including it at once. Thanks to every one for your support.

Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year 2009.

Enrique de Argaez, MBA, PE
editor and webmaster
Miniwatts Marketing Group

About this newsletter:
IWS News is a free monthly newsletter about Internet marketing, market research and telecommunications, published for opt-in subscribers by the Internet World Stats website. To update your email address, or to unsubscribe, use the aweber link below. For contacting the editor, please write to "".

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