Internet statistics offer a full view of the digital world, showing how technology reshapes interactions and information consumption. These numbers are critical for marketers wanting to expand their reach, businesses aiming to boost online visibility, and individuals curious about digital trends.
This report is a handy tool for understanding the current state of the digital world and its future direction.
Dive in and explore the latest Internet stats.
Internet Penetration and Global Connectivity: A Comprehensive Overview of Global Internet Statistics
The digital age brings a need to understand internet penetration, global connectivity, and user demographics. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) offers a wealth of data in its “Facts and Figures 2022” report. This report provides Internet data on the current global state.
In 2022, about 5.3 billion people were using the Internet. This figure represents 66% of the world’s population.
The number of users increased by 6% compared to 2021. This growth is up from 5% for 2020-2021. However, the change in internet usage was more significant for 2019-2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic (+11%).
Still, 2.7 billion people remain offline, showing that substantial strides in internet adoption are needed.
Regional Differences in Internet Usage
Internet usage varies across regions. Europe recorded the highest share of people using the Internet in 2022 (89%).
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; 84%) and the Americas (83%) followed.
On the other hand, Africa (40%), Asia-Pacific (64%), and the Arab States (70%) recorded the lowest rates of internet usage.
Urban vs. Rural: Internet Statistics and the Digital Divide
In 2022, urban areas had nearly double the share of Internet users compared to rural areas.
The digital divide is evident when comparing urban (82% of residents used the Internet) and rural (46% of residents used the Internet) areas.
However, the gap has been gradually narrowing since 2020. That year, the increase in rural residents using the internet saw a significant increase compared to 2019 (+9 percentage points).
The Generational Gap in Internet Statistics
Young people are more connected to the Internet than the rest of the population. In 2022, approximately 75% of young people aged between 15 and 24 globally were connected to the Internet.
Meanwhile, 65% of the rest of the population was connected to the Internet.
The generational gap in internet usage appears to be narrowing. In 2020, the difference in internet penetration rates between young people (71%) and the rest of the population (57%) was more significant.
Across all regions, those aged between 15 and 24 were more connected than any other age group.
In the Americas, Internet use among young people (94%) and the rest of the population (81%) differed notably.
The Growth in International Bandwidth Usage
The demand for international data continues to grow, driving the increase in international bandwidth usage. In 2022, bandwidth usage grew by 25% compared to 2021.
Africa showed the fastest growth in international bandwidth usage (+37%), while the Americas led in terms of growth in bandwidth usage per internet user (+26%).
Mobile Internet and App Usage: Internet Stats
Understanding global internet usage requires a look at device distribution. A significant shift has been the rise of mobile internet and app usage, as outlined in the ITU report.
Global Mobile Ownership: Internet Stats from a Regional Perspective
In 2022, nearly three-quarters (73%) of the world population owned a mobile phone.
This rate varied across regions. Europe recorded the highest rates of mobile phone ownership (93% of the population). CIS countries (91%), the Americas (88%), and the Arab States (81%) followed.
Africa (61%) and the Asia-Pacific (67%) recorded the lowest rates of mobile ownership.
Mobile Broadband Subscriptions and Access
Mobile broadband subscriptions are nearing the level of mobile-cellular subscriptions. The latter is plateauing.
Active mobile internet plans reached 87 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2022. Cell phone plans remained higher at 108 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.
On average, mobile internet plan subscriptions have been increasing by 15% yearly. Cell phone plans have been increasing by 2% yearly.
In 2022, mobile internet access was available to 95% of the global population.
In many developing nations, mobile internet plans, specifically 3G or higher, are the primary means of Internet connectivity.
Connecting the remaining 5% off the grid is challenging. This is due to geographical challenges, technological limitations, economic factors, slow growth of coverage, and network transition.
Mobile Usage: Internet Stats Highlights
Global time spent on mobile surpassed 2.5 trillion hours on Android devices for the first time.
According to data.ai, in the first half of 2023, global time spent on mobile increased by 4% compared to the second half of 2022. This indicates that people are on track to spend more than 5 trillion hours on Android phones in 2023.
The top three markets by time spent on Android phones were all in the Asia-Pacific region.
These were the top three markets according to data.ai:
- India (nearly 600 billion hours; +26% since the first half of 2021)
- China (over 500 billion hours; +13%)
- Indonesia (around 200 billion hours; +16%)
Web Page Views: Mobile vs. Desktop
Nearly 57% of web page views as of July 2023 come from mobile devices.
Desktop made up 43% of web page views. This data comes from Stat Counter.
App Downloads and Usage Time
TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide for the twelfth consecutive quarter.
According to the Store Intelligence Data Digest by Sensor Tower, in Q2 2023, TikTok reached over 180 million downloads worldwide. TikTok was followed by Instagram (around 170M) and Facebook (around 150M).
The total time spent on these three social media apps was 55.2 hours per month.
According to Data Reportal, as of January 2023, the average time per month that global users spent using each platform’s Android app throughout 2022 were highest for TikTok (23.5 hours).
Facebook recorded 19.7 hours per month, while Instagram recorded 12.0 hours per month.
In the U.S., the most downloaded app was Temu, a Chinese online marketplace app.
In Q2 2023, Temu reached over 32 million downloads. It was followed by Max (previously HBO Max; 21.5M downloads) and CapCut (a video editor created by TikTok’s publisher, ByteDance, with around 10M downloads). This was also outlined in the Data Digest by Sensor Tower.
Overview of Online Activities: User Engagement and Internet Usage Trends
Understanding what users are doing online is crucial, especially with the surge in mobile internet and app usage. This section explores the landscape of online activities and engagement, setting the stage for a deeper dive into specific areas of interest.
Interestingly, the typical internet user has reduced their online time by 20 minutes per day compared to the previous year.
According to the GWI Global Media Landscape report, this reduction brings the average time spent on online activities to 6 hours and 43 minutes per day in Q2 2022, a figure reminiscent of the pre-Covid-19 era.
The most visited website globally remained Google.
Data from Similar Web shows that Google recorded an average of 84.6 billion visits on desktop and mobile in June 2023. Google was followed by YouTube (32.7 billion) and Facebook (16.8 billion).
These statistics provide a glimpse into the evolving landscape of online activities and user engagement. The following subsections delve deeper into internet statistics on specific areas such as e-commerce and digital transactions, social media and online communities, online education and e-learning, and online entertainment and gaming.
Digital Commerce: A Look at Internet Statistics
Exploring the digital commerce landscape reveals intriguing internet statistics from the Sales Force Shopping Index.
In the second quarter of 2023 (Q2 2023), digital commerce didn’t record a change in revenue compared to Q2 2022.
Global revenue remained the same over the past year.
Meanwhile, mobile traffic increased by 8% in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022.
Conversely, desktop computer traffic decreased by 8% in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022.
In Q2 2023, the share of orders placed via mobile reached its highest point since Q2 2021.
The share of mobile orders reached 64% in Q2 2023, up by 3 percentage points compared to Q2 2022.
The average amount spent by shoppers per visit was $2.77 in Q2 2023.
This was up by $0.23 from the previous quarter but down $0.09 from Q2 2022.
The most visited e-commerce website globally remained Amazon.
Data from Similar Web show that Amazon recorded an average of 2.3 billion visits on desktop and mobile in June 2023. It was followed by eBay (694.7 million) and Japanese Amazon (559.9 million).
Facebook is the most popular social media network, with nearly 3 billion active users.
According to Data Reportal, as of January 2023, Facebook led the ranking of most used social platforms, followed by YouTube (2.5 billion), WhatsApp, and Instagram (both 2 billion).
The majority of Americans recognize the capacity of social media to raise awareness on certain issues.
Social media continues to have a profound impact on socialization, activism, and community building, even as patterns evolve. A 2023 Pew Research reports on Americans’ political activity on social media:
- 67% agree that “social media highlights important issues that might not get a lot of attention otherwise”;
- 67% believe that “social media helps give a voice to underrepresented groups”;
- 47% assert that “social media make it easier to hold powerful people accountable”.
However, larger proportions believe these platforms can act as a distraction and are ineffective in bringing about actual change:
- 82% hold the view that “social media distracts people from issues that are truly important”;
- 76% state that “social media makes people think they’re making a difference when they really aren’t”.
In fact, the importance placed by users on these sites for their personal political involvement has been on a downward trend.
From 2020 to 2023, the share of social media users who perceive these sites as crucial or somewhat important for getting engaged with issues they are concerned about fell from 44% to 30%.
This decline is also visible in attitudes about the personal importance of social media for expressing their political views (from 40% in 2020 to 27% in 203) or finding like-minded individuals (from 45% in 2020 to 40% in 2023).
For more detailed insights, check out our comprehensive article 70+ Insightful Social Media Statistics You Need to Know in 2023.
Streaming Services, Music Preferences, Podcast Genres, and Online Gaming Insights
The daily time spent watching streaming services in North America has risen since 2018.
GWI’s Global Media Landscape report shows a 33-minute increase in online TV or stream viewing time. Linear TV viewing time, however, remained unchanged.
Netflix is the most popular video service in North America.
According to GWI Q2 2022 data, 65% of North Americans use Netflix. YouTube (53%), Prime Video (43%), Hulu (40%), and Disney (38%) follow in popularity.
Spotify is the most popular music service in North America.
36% of North Americans use it. YouTube Music (21%) and Pandora (19%) are next in line, according to GWI Q2 2022 data.
YouTube is the leading podcast platform in the U.S.
Nearly half (49%) of podcast listeners used YouTube for their podcasts in Q3 2022, with Spotify close behind (43%), according to GWI.
The revenue from the online games market remained stable between 2021 and 2022.
Statista’s Market Insight shows that the revenue in 2022 ($23.81 billion) was nearly the same as in 2021 ($23.83 billion).
However, there was a slight decrease in the number of online game players in 2022.
There were 1.10 billion users in 2021, but this number fell to 1.07 billion users in 2022. The penetration rate also decreased from 14.6% to 14.1%.
Meanwhile, the e-sports market increased in value.
The Market Insight by Statista shows that the market in 2021 was valued at $1.2 billion, but this increased to $1.4 billion in 2022.
The United States is a key leader in the industry.
Statista details that revenue in the US is expected to amount to $317.0 million in 2023, second only to China ($445.2 million)
Online Education Trends
The most visited education website in the world is Instructure.
According to Similar Web, Instructure recorded 217.1 million visits in June 2023. It was followed by Scribd (126.0 million) and Udemy (106.1 million).
The desire for convenience when managing existing commitments continues to be the leading motivator for enrolling in online education programs.
According to the 2023 Online Education Trends Report by BestColleges, more than a third of online students (42%) indicated this desire for convenience.
Three-quarters of students said that online education is better than or equal to on-campus learning.
The report by BestColleges states that 75% of students said this, up by 5 percentage points compared to 2022. Furthermore, fewer students reported being unsure about how online education compares to on-campus learning (4% compared to 7% in 2022).
An overwhelming majority of students surveyed said they would recommend online education to others.
The BestColleges report outlines that 98% of currently enrolled online students said they would recommend online education to others. Online program graduates (96%) and hybrid students (94%) expressed the same confidence.
Rising IoT Adoption: Impact on Daily Lives and Workspaces
The Internet of Things (IoT) has triggered a transformative phase of interconnected devices. This change fundamentally alters everyday life and work practices. As the digital age advances, IoT is shaping the present world and directing an intriguing future.
IoT in Organizations
IoT technology sits third in the ranking of technologies either adopted or planned for implementation by North American and European organizations in 2023.
A report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis reveals over half (57%) of these organizations either have IoT integrated into their operations or plan to do so. This surpasses trends like 5G, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and even edge computing.
Business spending on IoT peaked at $201 billion in 2022.
IoT Analytics predicts a further rise, with the global enterprise IoT market forecasted to soar to a stunning $483 billion by 2027 (+140% compared to 2022).
The swift spread of IoT devices, spurred by breakthroughs in connectivity solutions such as 5G, is revolutionizing business operations. New opportunities are opening for enhanced efficiency, productivity, and decision-making.
The Surge of Smart Homes
Revenue for the smart home industry touched $117.6 billion in 2022.
Statista’s Digital Market Outlook predicts further growth, expecting revenue to reach a notable $222.9 billion by 2027 (+90% compared to 2022).
Other areas of smart home implementation are well-represented according to Statista’s Consumer Insights Global survey as of March 2023:
- Safety/security at 34%
- Electricity/lighting at 33%
- Smart appliances at 29%
- Energy management at 27%
- Smart speakers with integrated virtual assistants at 26%
- 16% reported no ownership of smart home devices
Defining the Future of IoT
In 2022, global IoT connections hit 14.3 billion active endpoints (+18% compared to 2021)
IoT Analytics forecasts total consumer and industrial IoT connections to surpass 29 billion by 2027.
Advantages, Concerns, and the Road Ahead
The benefits of IoT are significant, but potential issues can’t be overlooked. As reliance on interconnected devices grows, data privacy and security concerns escalate. It’s crucial for businesses and consumers to understand these risks. Implementing strong security measures to protect sensitive information is key.
Cybersecurity and Privacy Concerns
In an increasingly digital world, online security is crucial.
Yet, fewer than one in five organizations consider cybersecurity to be integral to their Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy.
As stated by the KPMG Cyber Trust Insights report, within organizations, those responsible for ESG should work collaboratively with those responsible for cybersecurity and data privacy. Organizations that truly embrace the ESG agenda can earn the trust of their customers and reinforce the strength of their brands.
In fact, the worldwide average cost of a data breach rose by 15% over the past 3 years.
IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report indicates that a data breach in 2023 costs $4.45 million.
As the internet and IoT landscape continue to expand, it becomes even more critical to prioritize security and privacy to ensure the safe and efficient use of these technologies.
For more detailed insights into the current state of cybersecurity, check out the comprehensive article: 50+ Cybersecurity Statistics for 2023 You Need to Know – Where, Who & What is Targeted.
Environmental Impact: Internet Data
Understanding the environmental impact of the internet is crucial as global reliance on it grows. Energy consumption from data transmission networks and data centers, the internet’s backbone, significantly contributes to this impact. This section explores the energy usage of these networks and centers.
Global Data Transmission Networks
In 2022, data transmission networks worldwide are estimated to have consumed between 260-360 TWh.
This accounted for 1-1.5% of global electricity use. The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that this figure was 220 TWh in 2015.
Data Centers: Electricity Consumptions, Workloads, and PUE
The estimated global electricity consumption in data centers for 2022 was 240-340 terawatt-hours (TWh).
This represented around 1-1.3% of global final electricity demand. According to the IEA, this figure was 200 TWh in 2015.
Data center workloads saw a significant increase of 340% from 2015 to 2022.
The IEA reported that data center workloads increased from 180 million in 2015 to 800 million in 2022.
However, data centers, known for their high energy demands and environmental impact, have seen improvements in power usage effectiveness (PUE).
The Uptime Institute Global Data Center Survey Results 2022 revealed that the PUE ratio decreased from 2.50 in 2007 to 1.55 in 2023. These Internet statistics highlight the strides made in improving the efficiency of data centers, the backbone of the Internet.
In conclusion, the digital world is changing rapidly. The growth in global internet connections, the lead of mobile internet and app use, and the rise of IoT tech are key trends shaping online interactions.
Yet, these advances bring challenges. These include issues of cybersecurity and privacy and the environmental toll of the digital world.
Looking ahead, it’s vital to keep an eye on these internet data trends, to glimpse the future and tackle any challenges that come up.
- ITU Measuring digital development: Facts and Figures 2022
- Data.ai Consumers Spent More than 2.5 Trillion Hours on Mobile in the First Half of 2023
- StatCounter Desktop vs Mobile Market Share Worldwide
- SensorTower Q2 2023 Store Intelligence Data Digest
- Data Reportal 2023 Global Overview Report
- GWI Global Media Landscape
- Similar Web Top Websites Ranking
- Sales Force Shopping Index
- Similar Web Top E-commerce & Shopping Websites
- GWI U.S. social media: Behind the screens
- Pew Research Center #BlackLivesMatter Turns 10
- Statista Market Insight on Online Games
- Statista Market Insight on E-sports
- Similar Web Top Education Websites
- BestColleges 2023 Online Education Trends Report
- SWZD 2023 State of IT
- IoT Analytics Global IoT market size to grow 19% in 2023—IoT shows resilience despite economic downturn
- Statista Digital Market Outlook on Smart Homes
- Statista Consumer Insights on Smart Homes
- KPMG Cyber Trust Insights 2022
- IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023
- International Energy Agency Data Centres and Data Transmission Networks
- Uptime Institute Global Data Center Survey Results 2022