429 Million Online Worldwide

The First Quarter 2001 Global Internet Trends report from Nielsen//NetRatings measured Internet use in 27 countries around the world and found 420 million people have Internet access.

Results from Q1 2001 found that the United States and Canada still account for the largest proportion of the world’s Internet access, with 41 percent of the global audience located in these countries. Europe, the Middle East and Africa are responsible for 27 percent of the world’s Internet population, followed by Asia Pacific (20 percent) and Latin America (4 percent).

“In terms of penetration levels, just over one-quarter of European households have Internet access via a home PC, compared to one-third of the households in Asia Pacific and nearly half of American households,” said Richard Goosey, chief of measurement science and analytics at ACNielsen eRatings.com. “Don’t expect this American domination to last long, though. Compared to a year ago, significantly more households in Europe and Asia Pacific now have a PC in the home and a greater proportion of homes are making use of that PC to connect to the Internet. Over the next 12 months, another 9 percent of European households and 12 percent of Asia Pacific households plan on acquiring Internet access.”

In Europe, Germany and Britain continue to dominate the Internet market. When combined with Italy and France, these four nations account for two-thirds of the European households with Internet access via a home PC. In the first quarter of 2001, Germany recorded the greatest increase in terms of number of households with home Internet access. The three European countries with the highest number of people with home Internet access (Germany, Britain and Italy) with the highest number of people with home Internet access together account for half the total European Internet population.

In Asia Pacific, South Korea dominates in terms of the number of households with home Internet access, alone accounting for 45 percent of the number of households with home PC access in that region. South Korea, Taiwan and Australia account for 86 percent of the total number of people with home PC Internet access in that region.

In both Europe and Asia Pacific, home access is a more common source of Internet access than work-based access, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Even for those who have Internet access at work, home is more likely to be the location of use of the Internet.

“Generally, home access and use of the Internet is more firmly entrenched in the four Asian countries of Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan than in the Pacific countries of Australia and New Zealand, where work-based usage is more commonly observed than in Asian countries,” Goosey said. “In Europe, home access is particularly dominant in the Netherlands and Italy, where home access rates are at least double the work access rates. In most countries, the home access rate has increased since the end of 2000, while work access rates tend to be much more stable. Clearly, use of the Internet at work — or elsewhere — is not the cultural norm yet in these regions, which could impact the growth of business-to-business commerce ventures in Europe and Asia Pacific.”


Percentage of People with Internet Access at Home or Work
Age 16+
Access at Home Access at Work
Australia 50% 30%
Austria 42% 27%
Belgium/Luxembourg 39% 23%
Denmark 58% 38%
Finland 49% 37%
France 22% 17%
Germany 35% 22%
Hong Kong 58% 23%
Ireland 46% 25%
Italy 34% 14%
Netherlands 56% 28%
New Zealand 51% 31%
Norway 53% 38%
Singapore 56% 21%
Spain 20% 11%
South Korea 57% 17%
Sweden 61% 41%
Switzerland 43% 31%
Taiwan 50% 19%
UK 46% 26%
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

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