THE INTERNET IS GROWING
HERE ARE THE NUMBERS TO PROVE IT
- 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."
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.
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
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.
- digital cameras
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.
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.