30 Global Internet Usage Statistics (2024)

Internet Usage Statistics

You may be surprised to learn that the World Wide Web and the internet aren’t the same thing. The World Wide Web helps users gain access to information on the internet (through websites).

While the modern internet came into existence on January 1, 1983, its roots lay way back to 1969 with the ARPANET project.1 That’s just the first of many fun internet usage statistics; Read on to learn all of them!

1. There Are More Than 5.35 Billion Global Internet Users

The world’s population is an astonishing 8.09 billion, and more than 5.35 billion of them use the internet.2,3 The number of global internet users has grown by almost 1.3 billion since 2019 and is expected to continue rising.

Bar chart of internet users worldwide
The growth of global internet users from 2019 to 2023 is roughly 1.3 billion.

2. The Majority (66.1%) of the Global Population Uses the Internet

Crunching the numbers from our first statistic shows that around 66.1% of the world population uses the internet, particularly social media (62.3%).2,3 This isn’t surprising, though, given the rise in mobile phone availability and social media culture.

3. More Than 5 Billion People Use Social Media Worldwide

Have you ever thought social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Snapchat were addictive? Well, you’re right; Around 5.05 billion people worldwide use social media in some shape or form.4

4. Facebook Is the Most Popular Social Media Platform With 3.05 Billion Users

Facebook was the first social media platform to surpass the 1 billion mark in registered users. As of today, it’s also the leading social media platform, with around 3.05 billion active monthly users. Such is the prominence of Meta that all four of its social media platforms have more than one billion active monthly users: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.5

5. Asia Has the Largest Number of Internet Users (2.93 Billion)

With more than 2.93 billion active internet users, Asia has more users than any other continent. Europe is a distant second with around 750 million users.4 As expected, China (1.05 billion) and India (692 million) have the most internet users in Asia. The US (311.3 million) comes in third, followed by Indonesia (212.9 million) and Brazil (181.8 million). 6

Bar chart of top 5 countries digitally
China has the largest digital population by far.

6. An Astounding 99% of the Population Uses the Internet in Norway

Here’s a fun fact for you: 99% of Norway’s population uses the internet. It’s not just Norway that can boast of an almost-perfect “internet literacy” rate; Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also fall into this bracket.4

7. Indonesia and Brazil Have Nearly 400 Million Internet Users Combined

With 212.9 million and 181.8 internet users, respectively, Indonesia and Brazil complete the top five list of the largest internet populations in the world. Russia (127.6 million), Nigeria (122.5 million), Japan (102.5 million), Mexico (100.6 million), and the Philippines (85.16 million) fill ranks six through 10. You may be surprised to learn the UK has only 66.11 million internet users.6

8. Chinese Internet Users Spend Around 6 Hours and 25 Minutes Online Daily

China’s population is around 1.43 billion, which means around 73.4% of the population uses the internet.6,7 The typical Chinese internet user spends nearly six hours and 25 minutes daily online.

9. Internet Usage Penetration Is Highest in the 15 to 24 Age Bracket

The younger generation (15 to 24-year-olds) is most receptive to the internet, with 75% of this global population using it.4 This age group makes up the majority of internet users across all regions.

Bar chart of internet usage by age and region
Europe’s younger generation leads the pack with a 98% internet usage rate.

10. The 15 to 24 Age Bracket in Europe Has an Internet Usage Penetration of 98%

Europeans in the 15 to 24-year age bracket experience the most significant internet usage penetration, with 98% of them using the internet.4

11. The Global Number of Internet Users Has Grown by 424.5% Since 2005

From 1.02 billion users in 2005 to 5.35 billion users today, the number of global internet users has grown by an extraordinary 424.5% — and this is just the beginning. Considering the number of internet users has grown by around 43.4% in the past five years, we can expect nearly 7.67 billion internet users by 2029.8

12. The First Internet Model Was Born on October 29, 1969

On October 29, 1969, the first “feasible” model of the internet delivered a message from a University of California computer to a Stanford University computer.1 The project was led by the Advanced Research Project Agency Network (ARPANET) and was a bittersweet success. The message was only partially delivered, but hey, at least the internet was born!

13. The Vast Majority (92%) of People in High-Income Countries Use the Internet

Internet use is closely related to income level. If you live in a high-income country, you likely rely heavily on the internet. Roughly 92% of people living in high-income countries use the internet, compared to only 26% of people living in low-income countries.4

Bar chart of internet by country income level
There is a 66% difference between high-income and low-income countries’ internet usage rates.

14. The World Wide Web Was Invented in 1990

The World Wide Web was invented by Timothy John Berners-Lee in 1990.1 It’s widely thought of as the internet, but they are separate entities. You could say the internet enables the World Wide Web — it’s a partnership of great convenience.

15. Google Search Was Founded in 1998

Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with the idea of a search engine for the World Wide Web in 1995 from their Stanford dorm room. The idea came to fruition in 1998 when Google Search was founded.1 This is a significant milestone, as it coincides with a rise in popularity of the internet.

16. Internet User Penetration Stands at 91.8% in the US

Most (91.8%) of the US population has access to and actively uses the internet. For a population of more than 340 million, that’s an impressive number of users.9,10 As Statista amusingly puts it, “many of them could no longer imagine a life without it.”

17. The Majority (90.7%) of US Internet Users Use Mobile

A whopping 282.5 million people, or 90.7% of US internet users, use their mobile phones to access the internet. Many of them access it through other devices as well, including tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.9

Bar chart of internet usage by device
Laptops follow mobile phones as the second most used device with internet access.

18. The Number of Smartphone Users in the US May Soar to 364.2 Million by 2040

There were 311.8 million smartphone users in the country in 2023, and this figure is projected to rise to 364.2 million by 2040.11 This represents a respectable 16.8% jump in smartphone users and bodes well for US internet companies.

19. US Internet Penetration Is Expected to Reach 98% by 2029

Internet penetration in the USA has been increasing for the past nine years and is expected to engulf 98% of the population.12 The figure stands at 91.8% as of early 2024 — impressive indeed. No wonder smartphone companies sell internet plans with their products.

20. India Has 692 Million Internet Users

India has around 692 million internet users. Given India’s vast population, this is rather low. To put it into perspective, only 48.7% of the population has access to or actively uses the internet.13 Delhi NCT (the capital region) has the highest internet penetration rate at 68%.14 The region is swiftly developing into India’s new tech hub.

21. The Internet Usage Rate In India Increased by 53% from 2019 to 2024

India hasn’t had the best of times with internet adoption, as its usage rates have been less than 50% until recent years. However, its internet use has grown by 53% from 2019 to 2024. In 2019, only 34% of the population used the internet compared to 52% in 2024.15

Bar chart of internet in india
India had a 52% internet penetration rate in 2024.

22. More Than 683 Million Indian Citizens Are Not Connected to the Internet

More than 683 million Indians aren’t connected to the internet.16 India’s population is huge, and most of its citizens live in rural areas. To put it into perspective, more than 909 million Indians live in rural regions.17 The infrastructure is there, though, and large-scale plans are underway to ramp up internet access.

23. Roughly 336 Million Chinese Citizens Are Not Connected to the Internet

China has a population comparable to India’s and fewer citizens who aren’t connected to the internet: 336.4 million. Pakistan (131.8 million), Nigeria (123.4 million), and Ethiopia (103. million) complete the list of countries with the most citizens not connected to the internet.16

24. Africa’s Internet Usage Rate Is 40%

Africa has the lowest internet usage rate of any continent at 40%.16 Comparatively, 89% of Europe’s population uses the internet — the highest of any continent.

25. Africa’s Internet Usage Rate May Rise to 48.2% by 2028

Africa’s internet usage rate is forecasted to rise to around 48.2% by 2028.16 This would mark a significant rise in internet use in a short period of time. Perhaps by 2030, more than half of the continent’s population will be internet users.

Bar chart of internet penetration in africa
Africa has had a steady internet penetration rate over the years.

26. People in South Africa Spend 9 Hours and 24 Minutes Online Daily

Internet users in South Africa spend a mind-boggling nine hours and 24 minutes online each day!18 This indicates that South Africa has a large internet user base — its residents spend the most time online of any region worldwide. Mind you, this represents time spent online on any device, so work hours are included.

27. People in Brazil Are Online for 9 Hours and 13 Minutes Each Day

Like people in South Africa, Brazilians also spend a lot of time on the internet! Brazilian internet users spend nine hours and 13 minutes online each day, the second-most of any region worldwide.18

28. People in Japan Spend Less Than 4 Hours Online Every Day

Japanese people spend less than four hours online every day, the least of any region.18 This is an impressive average, given the digital nature of many jobs.

29. Google.com Makes up Roughly 17.8% of Monthly Global Internet Traffic

Google.com is the world’s most popular website. The irony is that it’s a search engine largely used by people to discover and visit other websites! On average, Google is responsible for 17.8% of the monthly global internet traffic (desktop web traffic, exclusively). YouTube.com is the next website on this list (13.6%) and is distantly followed by Facebook.com (3.59%); Instagram.com features too (1.29%).19

Bar chart of most visited websites
Google has the highest usage rate of all websites.

30. Roughly 86% of Americans With Annual Income Less Than $30k Report Using the Internet

The higher your income, the more likely you are to have access to and take advantage of the internet. Almost all (99%) of Americans with a household income of more than $100,000 regularly use the internet.21 Unfortunately, the households on the other end of the spectrum (income of less than $30,000) can’t say the same — only 86% use the internet.21

The Future of the Internet

The internet is more than 50 years old and is no closer to its retirement than it was 10 years ago. It’s becoming faster and more powerful, and the coming years are likely to change our lives forever. If these statistics show us anything, it’s that the internet is just getting started.

Sources and Further Reading

  1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2022/08/28/when-was-internet-created-who-invented-it/10268999002/
  2. https://www.statista.com/topics/1145/internet-usage-worldwide/
  3. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
  4. https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/
  5. https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/
  6. https://www.statista.com/statistics/262966/number-of-internet-users-in-selected-countries/
  7. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/china-population/
  8. https://www.statista.com/statistics/273018/number-of-internet-users-worldwide/
  9. https://www.statista.com/topics/2237/internet-usage-in-the-united-states/
  10. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/us-population/
  11. https://www.statista.com/statistics/201182/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-the-us/
  12. https://www.statista.com/statistics/590800/internet-usage-reach-usa/
  13. https://www.statista.com/topics/2157/internet-usage-in-india/
  14. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1115129/india-internet-penetration-by-state/
  15. https://www.statista.com/statistics/792074/india-internet-penetration-rate/
  16. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1155552/countries-highest-number-lacking-internet/
  17. https://www.statista.com/statistics/621507/rural-and-urban-population-india/
  18. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1258232/daily-time-spent-online-worldwide/
  19. https://www.statista.com/statistics/265668/global-top-websites-ranked-by-visit-share/
  20. https://www.statista.com/statistics/273172/twitter-accounts-with-the-most-followers-worldwide/
  21. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/
  22. https://review42.com/resources/internet-statistics-and-trends/