Around 40 percent of the world’s population will be online by the end of this year. Two-thirds of the nearly 3 billion Internet users will be from the developing world with mobile broadband penetration coming in at roughly 32 percent according to a new report from the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
As the numbers indicate, the Internet is thriving in developing countries as it has mostly reached saturation in developed nations like Europe. To further highlight the point, the ITU says people from developing countries make up more than 90 percent of those who are not yet using the Internet (the other 10 percent are probably your grandparents).
Which regions are using the Internet the most? According to the report, Europe has the highest Internet penetration rate at around 75 percent while two-thirds of those in the Americas will be online by the end of the year. Around 20 percent of those in Africa will have access but it’s the Asia-Pacific region that has the largest overall population of Internet users.
In terms of mobile-broadband, subscription rates are expected to hit 2.3 billion globally with 55 percent of them coming from the developing world. Mobile-broadband continues to be the fastest growing market segment and will exhibit double-digit growth rates in 2014.
It’s worth pointing out that the ITU’s figures represent those that have used the Internet in the past three months, not those that have regular access to it.