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At-Home Internet Users Approaching Half Billion

  |  March 6, 2002   |  Comments

The number of people with Internet access from home worldwide is nearing 500 million, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

The number of people with Internet access from home worldwide is nearing 500 million, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

The Fourth Quarter 2001 Global Internet Trends report on Internet access and penetration found that 498 million people now have Internet access from home. In the fourth quarter of 2001, 24 million people gained Internet access at home. The rate of growth of the global Internet population was in the fourth quarter was nearly double the third quarter's 15 million new at-home users.

"Internet penetration and usage continues to grow across households and individuals," said Richard Goosey, chief of measurement science and analytics at Nielsen//NetRatings. "In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Germany continues to dominate in terms of absolute numbers of households and people with Internet access, recording the largest increase in the number of people and households gaining Internet access. In Latin America, Brazil is the dominant Internet market, while in Asia-Pacific, South Korea continues to hold its top ranking, though Singapore experienced strong growth in Q4."

The report also found differing demographic characteristics among online populations. In Europe and Latin America, at-home Internet access is skewed toward homes where the head of the household is age 35 or younger, Goosey said. Internet access in Europe is also most common in homes that are headed by men with university degrees. Men with university degrees are also most likely to have Internet access in the Asia-Pacific region, but age is not a determining factor in that region.

One-third of the households in the EMEA region have Internet access via home PCs, compared to more than half in the United States. The biggest proportional increases in Internet access from the third quarter of 2001 to the fourth quarter occurred in Finland, Germany and Switzerland. In South Africa, 17 percent of homes with telephones also have Internet access, though only 6 percent of all the homes in South Africa have access to the Internet. Sweden leads the region with an 87 percent connection rate, Italy, Finland, Germany and Switzerland saw increases of 6 percent, 5 percent and 4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The only country in the Asia-Pacific region (which includes Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan) with single-digit home access rates in India, where only one in 14 households with telephones have Internet access via a home PC. Singapore showed a 6 percent gain over the third quarter and now has the highest penetration level of any country in Asia-Pacific.

According to eMarketer, there were 445 million people online worldwide at the end of 2001, of which 119 million, or 27 percent were located in the United States. By 2004, there will be 165.5 million U.S. Internet users, accounting for 23 percent of the global total.

Households with Internet Access and Connection Rate
Among households with fixed-line telephone
Country Households with Internet
access via Home PC
Connection
Rate
Argentina 20% 55%
Australia 51% 77%
Austria 38% 70%
Belgium/Luxembourg 32% 68%
Brazil 21% 77%
Denmark 51% 82%
Finland 42% 81%
France 20% 53%
Germany 35% 72%
Hong Kong 56% 90%
Ireland 34% 76%
India 7% 66%
Israel 35% 61%
Italy 34% 80%
Mexico 14% 56%
Netherlands 52% 82%
New Zealand 52% 84%
Norway 47% 78%
Singapore 60% 89%
South Africa 17% 59%
South Korea 58% 83%
Spain 18% 48%
Sweden 57% 87%
Switzerland 43% 78%
Taiwan 50% 83%
United Kingdom 38% 78%
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

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