Internet Users up 10%, Led by India, China

The number of internet users worldwide increased 10 percent over the past year amid a surge in India, China and Russia, a survey showed.

The report by market research firm comScore Networks found that 747 million people aged 15 and up used the internet worldwide in January 2007, a 10-percent increase from January 2006.

The United States still held the largest number of users with 153 million, but growth was just two percent, comScore found.

China was second overall with 86.7 million, according to comScore, but growth was 20 percent. The figure is lower than the official Chinese estimate of 137 million, which includes users in cybercafes and other public locations.

The strongest growth was seen in India, where the number of users increased 33 percent to 21.1 million. That placed India with the eighth largest internet population, just behind France.

The Russian Federation saw its number of users up 21 percent to 12.7 million.

In terms of overall Internet users, the highest numbers after the US and China were, in order, Japan, Germany, Britain, South Korea, France, India, Canada and Italy.

“The importance of the worldwide Internet population continues to grow,” said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe. “Internet users outside the US now account for 80 percent of the world’s online population, with rapidly developing countries experiencing double-digit growth rates year-over-year.”

In terms of the amount of time spent online, Canada led the list, with the average user spending 39.6 hours on the web. This was followed by Israel, South Korea, the US and Britain, all countries with high broadband penetration.

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