Question: How Big Is the Internet?
December, 2013: although it is impossible to be precisely sure, there are several benchmark indicators for estimating the approximate size of the internet population base. For the purposes of convenience, the Internet and the World Wide Web will be considered synonymous for the trend analyses below.
Resources: There are several companies who attempt to measure the Internet's usage: ClickZ, Vsauce, Gizmodo, Cyberatlas.internet.com, Statmarket.com/Omniture, marketshare.hitslink.com, Nielsen Ratings, Office of the CIA, Mediametrix.com, comScore.com, eMarketer.com, Serverwatch.com, Securityspace.com, internetworldstats.com, and the Computer Industry Almanac. These groups use custom techniques of polling, electronic tallying of server traffic, web server logging, focus group sampling, and other measurement means.
Here is a compilation of statistical projections from ClickZ and the CIA:
I) Total Internet Human Usage By Country of Residence
1. 2.1 to 2.4 billion: the estimated number of unique individuals who will use the Internet in 2013, all countries combined.
2. 294 million: the estimated number of American residents who will use the Internet in 2013.
3. 92.5 million: the estimated number of United Kingdom residents who will use the Internet in 2013.
4. 106.2 million: the estimated number of Russian residents who will use the Internet in 2013.
5. 1.7 billion: the estimated number of Asia residents who will use the Internet in 2013.
II) Historical Comparison: Internet Usage in One Month, by Country, Oct 2005:
1. Australia: 9.8 million
2. Brazil: 14.4 million
3. Switzerland 3.9 million
4. Germany 29.8 million
5. Spain 10.1 million
6. France 19.6 million
7. Hong Kong 3.2 million
8. Italy 18.8 million
9. Netherlands 8.3 million
10. Sweden 5.0 million
11. United Kingdom 22.7 million
12. United States 180.5 million
13. Japan 32.3 million
III) Additional Statistical References:
1. ClickZ compilation of statistical online populations, current.
2. Cyberatlas/ClickZ compilation of statistical country surveys, 2004-2005.
3. Google's Cultural Zeitgeist Profile.
4. WebSiteOptimization Study of Americans Using Broadband.
5. Russel Seitz, Michael Stevens. and Vsauce calculations at NPR IV) Conclusion:
Regardless of the accuracy of these statistics, it is safe to conclude that the Internet is a daily tool for millions of people worldwide. The World Wide Web, the most popular part of the Internet, started in 1989 with 50 people sharing web pages. Today, at least 2 billion people use the Web every week as part of their lives. More countries outside of North America are going online, and there is no stoppage of growth in the foreseeable future.
You might as well get used to the Internet and the World Wide Web as a part of daily life, folks. Over 1 billion other people already do.
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