JupiterResearch finds 1.5 billion people will have Internet access four years from now.
There will be 1.5 billion people with Internet access in 2011, with the biggest growth in the online population occurring in Brazil, Russia, India and China, according to a new report.
In its "Worldwide Online Population Forecast, 2006 to 2011," JupiterResearch anticipates that a 38 percent increase in the number of people with online access will mean that, by 2011, 22 percent of the Earth's population will surf the Internet regularly.
JupiterResearch says the worldwide online population will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6 percent during the next five years, far outpacing the 1.1 percent compound annual growth rate for the planet's population as a whole. The report says 1.1 billion people currently enjoy regular access to the Web.
North America will remain on top in terms of the number of people with online access. According to JupiterResearch, online penetration rates on the continent will increase from the current 70 percent of the overall North American population to 76 percent by 2011. However, Internet adoption has "matured," and its adoption pace has slowed, in more developed countries including the United States, Canada, Japan and much of Western Europe, notes the report.
As the online population of the United States and Canada grows by about only 3 percent, explosive adoption rates in China and India will take place, says JupiterResearch. The report says China should reach an online penetration rate of 17 percent by 2011 and India should hit 7 percent during the same time frame. This growth is directly related to infrastructure development and increased consumer purchasing power, notes JupiterResearch.
By 2011, Asians will make up about 42 percent of the world's population with regular Internet access, 5 percent more than today, says the study.
Penetration levels similar to North America's are found in Scandinavia and bigger Western European nations such as England and Germany, but JupiterResearch says a number of Central Europe countries "are relative Internet laggards."
Brazil "with its soaring economy," is predicted by JupiterResearch to experience a 9 percent compound annual growth rate, the fastest in Latin America, but China and India are likely to do the most to boost the world's online penetration in the near future.
For the study, JupiterResearch defined "online users" as people who regularly access the Internet by "dedicated Internet access" devices. Those devices do not include cell phones.
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