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  • 163.25 million people worldwide

These days, that isn't hard to do. Recent surveys show that 163.25 million people worldwide are online now. That's 3.9 percent of the total population. And it's a startling increase from just four years ago, when only 26 million people (.63 percent of the population) were logging on.

  • 76.5 million users in USA

The United States tops the list of the world's most wired countries. A recent survey shows the U.S. leading with nearly 76.5 million users. Japan is ranked second, with 9.75 million users, and the UK is third, with 8.1 million users. Also in the top 10 are Germany (7.14 million), Canada (6.49 million), Australia (4.36 million), France (2.79 million), Italy (2.14 million), and Spain (1.98 million). According to the survey, the top 15 countries "account for 89 percent of the global online population." 

  • 12.1 hours per week

Americans spend roughly 12.1 hours per week online and are big users of email, and are busy gathering information about their hobbies, general news, and business-related issues.

As it turns out, that's not very different from the user profiles in other countries. In Italy, Internet users are online at least four or five times per week. Of the 1.5 million estimated users, 68 percent access the Internet from home, 49 percent from work, and 8 percent through academia. Each individual accesses the Net for email, and 94 percent of those surveyed go online to access the web. Those who make online purchases typically buy books, tickets, and music products.

  • Emailing hot in China

In China, 70.8 percent of users log on for email. A whopping 85.6 percent use the web to scour information on politics, society, technology, and science. Comparable to Italy, 66 percent of China's online population access the Internet from home, although China's users spend an average of only 16 minutes online per week.

  • Research hot in France

It appears that the French are busy using the Net for research purposes as well. In a Benchmark Group report ranking the web sites most popular with French users, the results show portals and search engines topping the list, including French versions of AOL, Yahoo!, and AltaVista. Also popular are French financial news, providers of free email, and sites that offer personal homepages. Each of these sites reports more than 10 million page impressions per month. Weighing in at more than 3 million page impressions per month are the newspaper sites of Le Monde and Liberation and the news sites of Pariscope and La Tribune, among others.


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  • digital cameras
  • computers
  • software
  • Product info hot in USA

Most Americans use the Internet to find product information (78 percent of users). Closely behind that, 77 percent look up travel information; 75 percent read the latest news; 63 percent hunt and peck for entertainment info, and 51 percent are busy looking up financial information. Overall, Americans feel that research is one of the best things about being online (57 percent), although a whopping 94 percent of survey respondents are diehard email advocates.

Office most used for Internet

Americans are also quite busy accessing the Internet from work, a sharp increase in our Internet use there. In 1999, workers viewed, on average, 409.9 pages per month, which is an increase of 69 percent over 1998, when there were, on average, 243.3 page views per month. They are spending about 45 minutes a month shopping on the Internet. (Slightly less time than the 46 minutes they spend downloading pornography.) When asked, they say only that our most favored sites at work are news, information, and entertainment.

  • Internet hot worldwide

While the U.S. may top the list of wired nations, the rest of the world is catching up quickly. The good news there is that,  you can stay wired wherever you go. These days, most travel guides include important consulate, lodging, and other URLs to help you plan your trip before you leave home. On the Internet, travel advice abounds. Numerous sites, offer tips and tricks for traveling safely and comfortably with your laptop.

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