The internet statistics that matter in 2020 and beyond

Internet statistics - Featured image

Over the past few decades, nothing has had a greater influence on our lives than the internet. But how much do we really know about the vast network that now runs the world?

To find out, the team at DataProt scoured the World Wide Web for facts and stats about… the World Wide Web. Check out our internet statistics to discover the sheer size of this virtual realm that exists beyond the confines of physical space and get a sense for where the information superhighway is leading us.

Key internet statistics

  • There are an estimated 2.77 billion social media users in 2019.
  • More than 90,000 websites are hacked every day.
  • Mobile eCommerce is forecast to account for about 67.2% of eCommerce sales by 2021.
  • The number of Facebook users surpassed 2.4 billion monthly active users in 2019.
  • More than 4 million blog posts are published on the internet every day.

General internet facts and statistics

The internet has been expanding since the moment it went commercial, as statistics about internet use show. It’s internet facts like these that give us some perspective on the otherwise-unimaginable scale of how large the internet has actually become.

1. As of mid-June 2019, there were 4,536,248,808 unique internet users around the world.

(Internet World Stats)

There’s one question most of us have asked ourselves at one point: How many internet users are there in the world? The figure above represents 58% of the world’s total population. Even now, the number of internet users is expanding significantly. In mid-2018, there were around 3.9 billion internet users worldwide, while that number was about 3.7 billion in late 2017.


2. China leads the way online, with its citizens accounting for more than 20% of the total number of internet users around the world.

(Statista)

Statistics on internet use show that, with more than 828 million netizens in 2018, China’s online population was greater than the combined population of the US, Japan, Russia, and Mexico.


3. Statistics of internet use show that 98% of web users in China use mobile devices to go online.

(Forbes, Bloomberg)

Merging internet usage with a growing domestic mobile phone industry, China recorded impressive results in 2018, registering up to 788 million mobile internet users. The figure also illustrates how efficient Chinese network coverage actually is, as well as how accessible mobile devices have become in the past decade.


4. India is the runner-up, with more than 500 million internet users.

(Internet World Stats)

Although it’s several hundred million internet users behind China, India is making giant leaps forward, with half a billion people online in 2018. That number is expected to rise to 627 million by the end of 2019. The reason behind this unprecedented growth is a state-sponsored campaign to make internet connections more accessible in rural areas of the Indian subcontinent.


5. North America makes up only 8.3% of all worldwide internet users.

(Internet World Stats)

While the continent falls well within the category of the developed world, North America represents a fairly small segment of the global internet share. Nevertheless, the birthplace of the internet still leads the way in implementing 5G infrastructure. As such, United States internet access statistics suggest that the next generation of cellular network technology will bring about a significant increase in internet use.


6. North America has a penetration rate of 88.1%, with US internet usage statistics showing there were nearly 293 million unique users in April 2019.

(Internet World Stats)

While statistics on internet usage point out that North America lags behind Europe and Asia in terms of total users, the continent still has the highest penetration rate, with 88.1% of its population being connected. Europe comes second (85.2%), with Australia/Oceania (68.9%) third and Latin America/Caribbean (67.2%) fourth. Asia, which has the largest number of internet users in the world, is only fifth when it comes to penetration rate.


7. Iceland has the largest percentage of internet penetration in the world with 100% coverage of all homes in Reykjavik, and 99% coverage of the entire island.

(Internet Live Statistics)

Iceland has the highest internet penetration rate in the world, with virtually 100% of the small island nation’s population now having a fiber connection. Just behind Iceland in terms of coverage are the Falkland Islands, where 99.3% of the population has access to the internet.


8. Statistics about the internet commerce market predict that 80% of US online shoppers will make a purchase via the web in 2019.

(Statista)

In the United States, shopping habits have changed drastically. People are replacing traditional shopping with online purchases, and the figures have been steadily rising since 2013. Internet statistics for 2018 revealed that 79.2% of Americans had registered to purchase goods and services online. It is expected that by 2023, more than 90% of the total American population will be shopping online.


9. Over 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day.

(Internet Live Stats)

Although this figure varies, Google remains the most extensively used search engine on the internet. Internet search statistics suggest that Google processes an average of more than 40,000 search queries every second. Calculate that and you get a staggering figure of 1.2 trillion searches per year. With the increasing number of Google users worldwide, we can only expect these figures to grow.


10. Since 2014, video streaming has accounted for more than 57% of global downstream traffic online.

(Sandvine)

Accounting for more than half of total downstream traffic, video streaming dominates the internet. According to internet bandwidth usage statistics, Netflix holds the single largest percentage of internet traffic, accounting for 15% of downstream traffic.


11. 151.7 million domain name registrations belonged to either .com or .net top-level domains (TLDs) in Q3 of 2018.

(CircleID)

The figure represents an increase of 1.3% compared to Q2 of 2018. Translated into raw numbers, the increase means that around 2 million more domain names were registered in a three-month period. Year on year, the combined increase of both TLDs was around 4%, with 5.9 million new domain registrations since 2017.

It was the .com TLD that took the largest piece of the pie, with 137.6 million domain name registrations, alongside 14.1 million .net domains.


12. There were 1,518,207,41 active websites in January according to internet statistics from 2019.

(Netcraft)

This is actually significantly less than the approximately 1.81 billion websites reported in 2018. In the meantime, Microsoft’s web server software alone lost 203 million sites, registering a drop of 29%.


13. Internet traffic statistics show that 51.8% of all traffic is generated by bots, while humans account for only 48.2%.

(Axios)

While this sounds like bad news, the truth is that the increase in bot presence is mostly due to “good” bots that combat malware and regulate the internet ecosystem. Examples of such software are “spiders” used by Google for mapping the internet to expand search results, as well as “feed fetchers,” which Facebook search uses to refresh your newsfeed while you browse the social network on your smartphone.


14. More than 4 million blog posts are published on the internet every day.

(Internet Live Stats)

The amount of information on the web is seemingly infinite, largely due to people’s widespread use of blogs. With over 600 million blogs in the world today, the internet’s capacity to process more and more content grows stronger by the minute. While individual bloggers started this trend, it has been adopted by many larger websites that wish to stay competitive when it comes to SERPs.


15. People spend an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day.

(HootSuite)

We can confirm that this is, indeed, a lot. For example, in the Philippines, internet user statistics indicate that people spend more than 10 hours a day online. This is largely due to the fact that the archipelago nation is home to countless outsourcing companies and their online presence is mostly work-related. Due to extensive internet usage at work, statistics indicate that Southeast Asians are the most engaged internet users in the world.


16. Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Baidu dominate internet use statistics all over the globe.

(Internet Live Stats)

What’s the daily rate of Google internet searches? Nearly 5 billion. Moreover, around 5 billion videos are watched every single day on YouTube, while Facebook has more than 2 billion active users. Google’s Chinese counterpart, Baidu, has 665 million monthly active mobile search users. Internet traffic breakdown shows that the traditional major players still hold onto the largest percentage of the internet.


17. Domain name registrations grew 3.5% from 2017 to 2018.

(Dazeinfo)

Website stats showed that the third quarter of 2018 closed with approximately 342.4 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs) That’s an increase of around 2.6 million, or 0.8%, compared to the second quarter of 2018. Year over year, domain name registrations have grown by approximately 11.7 million, or 3.5%.


18. Every day, the internet generates more than 2,183,908 tons of CO2 emissions.

(Internet Live Stats)

While most people perceive the internet in abstract terms - a virtual world parallel to our own - its carbon footprint is, in fact, quite real. According to global internet usage statistics, the web generates 2% of the planet’s total CO2 emissions. Forecasts suggest that, within four years, digital pollution will be responsible for up to 3-4% of carbon dioxide emissions.


19. With a 51% share of the market, WordPress is the most popular CMS platform.

(WebsiteSetup)

WordPress reigns supreme as the main CMS on the web, with more than 27 million active websites under its belt. Among the company’s most valuable clients are heavy-rollers like The New York Times, Forbes, and Facebook’s official blog. Sites statistics show that Wix is in second place, with more than 3.8 million websites. Squarespace holds the bronze with more than 1.9 million live websites.


Mobile internet usage statistics

With Android and MacOs technology now available on mobile phones, billions of people have turned away from their PC and opted for the convenience of pocket-sized devices for surfing the internet. As mobile phones become cheaper and more accessible, they’re driving the global internet penetration rate through the roof. Let’s go through some of the most important statistics on internet use by mobile devices.

20. More than half of internet traffic now takes place on mobile phones.

(Statista)

Mobile vs desktop internet usage statistics suggest mobile phones are overtaking their traditional counterparts, with 63.4% of global internet traffic now going through mobile devices. This percentage has been steadily growing since the introduction of android technology. For instance, in 2015, just 52.7% of the world’s population had access to the internet via their mobile phone.


21. Mobile eCommerce is forecast to account for about 67.2% of eCommerce sales by 2021.

(Statista)

In case you’re wondering, that’s around $3.56 trillion in eCommerce sales by 2021. While eCommerce is gaining popularity, it’s mobile phones that are actually pushing the envelope of online retail. By 2020, mobile commerce will account for 45% of all eCommerce activities, compared to 20.6% in 2016.


22. Mobile devices are responsible for around 75% of China’s eCommerce sales.

(The Drum)

Let’s not forget that, in China, almost all internet traffic is conducted via mobile phones. After all, this is the home of AliExpress, the second-largest online retailer in the world. Chinese citizens are accustomed to using their mobile phones for shopping.


23. Mobile internet traffic accounted for 52.2% of internet traffic in 2018.

(Statista)

Mobile phones have become a force to be reckoned with, gaining over half of the total internet traffic share worldwide. Considering this figure rose from 50.3% just a year earlier, it’s obvious that the future of the internet is mobile.


24. According to internet statistics,  more than 600 million devices worldwide were running software to block advertisements in December 2016. More than half (62%) of those were mobile devices.

(Page Fair)

We all agree that ads can be annoying. Advertising still represents a source of income for a huge number of websites on the web, but it seems consumers couldn’t care less; a large number of mobile internet users prefer to block ads while browsing the web on their phones.


25. In 2019, mobile ad spending in the US is forecast to reach 75% of total digital ad spending.

(Forbes)

Companies are spending insane amounts of money on ads. By some estimates, $184 billion has been spent on internet ads worldwide in the past year alone. While internet usage statistics show that more and more people are turning to ad blockers, advertisers are still finding ways to make a killing.

26. Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic.

(HubSpot)

You already knew Google was winning the search engine race by a country mile, but you might not have realized just how dominant this platform is. Internet browser statistics show that mobile users spend 12% of their time on Google searches, proving once again that Google has become synonymous with online queries.


Social media statistics

Over the past decade or so, social media has become synonymous with an online presence. After all, if it isn’t on Instagram, it didn’t happen, right? Social media user statistics that we gathered all indicate at one thing - that social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter now number billions of users, most of whom couldn’t imagine life without them.

27. There are an estimated 2.77 billion social media users in 2019.

(Statista)

In other words, more than 35% of the world’s population spends its time on various social networks. In 2018, an estimated 2.65 billion people were using social media worldwide. As for future projections, it’s expected that this number will rise to almost 3.1 billion in 2021.


28. The number of Facebook users surpassed 2.4 billion monthly active users in  2019.

(Statista)

Ever wondered how many Facebook users are out there? The world’s largest global social network announced in the second quarter of 2019 that its numbers had swelled to some 2.41 billion monthly active users. In 2012, Facebook reached the one-billion-user milestone, making history as the first ever social media company to achieve such results.


29. Around 92% of Facebook’s ad revenue was mobile-oriented in Q3 of 2018.

(Facebook)

Facebook is undoubtedly turning its attention to mobile internet users. In Q3 of 2017, this figure was at 88%, with forecasts indicating that in 2019, social media ads are expected to overtake traditional newspaper ads completely. Basically, Facebook has signalled what we already know - the vast majority of commercial internet is migrating towards mobile users.


30. In June 2018, Instagram hit 1 billion monthly active users.

(Statista)

Under the patronage of Facebook, Instagram ranks as the second-most popular social media platform in the world. Since 2012, when Instagram was purchased by Facebook, the photo/video-sharing social network has continued to reach new heights in popularity. However, social media statistics indicate that this growth is set to hit a stagnation phase, with a projected annual growth rate of 3.4% by 2023.


31. According to internet marketing statistics, visual content is 40 times more shareable on social media than any other type of content.

(Buffer)

Visual content triumphs on the internet. According to global internet usage statistics, content that includes some visual elements gets 94% more total views. Make sure your content isn’t just plain text, as the average person reads only 20% of what is written on any given webpage.


32. Much like other visual content, infographics give you a threefold better chance of getting noticed.

(Lippincott NursingCenter)

We’ve already concluded that social media users love visual content. Infographics represent the perfect balance, as they allow you to pack useful information into purely visual content. They’re easy to read, easy to share, and tend to attract likes more often than other types of content that floods social media.


33. In the United States, 84% of online shoppers tend to review at least one social media site before making a purchase.

(Pew Research Center)

Internet statistics show that eight in 10 Americans are registered as online shoppers. Among them, 79% have made an online purchase of any type, while 51% have bought something using a cellphone. Moreover, 15% have made purchases by following a link from a social media site.


34. As early as 2015, internet addiction statistics showed that teens worldwide spend up to nine hours a day using social media.

(Washington Post, Enough Is Enough)

While statistics on internet addiction are scarce, the phenomenon has certainly reached worldwide levels. A study conducted in 2014 by researchers from the University of Hong Kong concluded that at least 6% of the world’s population falls well within the category of internet addiction. Judging by teens and their time spent on the internet, statistics show that social media and video streaming platforms are the most popular outlets.

Internet safety facts and statistics

The internet today is a virtual space full of potential dangers. One second on the web may leave you exposed to cyberattacks and malware. Indeed, internet fraud statistics are registering an increase in criminal activity targeting millions of people every day.


35. Three sectors accounted for 95% of cyberattacks in 2016.

(Tech Republic)

These are government, retail, and technology. According to statistics about internet usage, hackers and malware target these industries because they hold large amounts of personally identifiable information in their records. Moreover, government institutions remain traditional targets for cyberattacks, as breaching them is a mark of prestige in the hacking community. Retail and technology hacks, on the other hand, are motivated more by financial gain than anything else.


36. By 2020, there will be roughly 200 billion connected devices.

(Washington Times)

Internet security statistics around the globe show that the risk is real with IoT, and it’s growing. In fact, Internet of Things statistics predict that, by 2023, there will be 3.5 billion cellular IoT connections if the technology continues to grow at an annual anticipated rate of 30%. According to figures compiled within Symantec’s recent Internet Security Threat Report, there are currently 25 connected devices per 100 inhabitants in the US. If we look at internet crime statistics, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how this increases the risks of cyberattacks on personal devices.


37. More than 90,000 websites are hacked every day.

(Internet Live Stats)

Confirming the previous entry regarding internet safety statistics, this terrifying fact should serve as a warning to us all. Life online comes with great responsibility. So, check your password strength twice and bear in mind the consequences of a potential cyberattack.


38. WordPress is the most hacked CMS, accounting for 83% of hacked websites according to global internet traffic statistics

(Quick Silk)

WordPress is the most widespread CMS on the web, so it comes as no surprise that it’s also targeted most often. Most of this is caused by malware that attaches itself during traffic. In fact, backdoors leading to SEO spam were the most common type of hack reported by WordPress security staff in 2018.


39. There have been more than 3.8 million registered records stolen since 2013 due to daily system breaches all over the globe.

(Cybersecurity Ventures)

This translates to 158,727 breaches per hour, 2,645 per minute, and 44 every second of every day. If you weren’t already aware of the seriousness of internet dangers, statistics confirm that cybersecurity is no laughing matter.


40. 93% of data breaches happen within minutes, and 83% take weeks to be discovered, internet predator statistics reveal.

(Verizon)

Yes, you read that correctly. By the time you get a notification telling you that your data has fallen prey to hackers, the perpetrators are long gone and, in most cases, untraceable.


41. It’s expected that by 2021, cybercrime will cost $6 trillion across the globe.

(Cybersecurity Ventures)

While billions have already been spent worldwide in attempts to keep personal and other data safe from harm, the numbers just keep on multiplying. Cybersecurity is becoming a real financial nightmare, especially when you realize how limited anti-malware budgets can be.


42. Around 53% of total piracy in 2017 took place on unlicensed streaming platforms.

(Variety)

According to internet piracy statistics compiled in the US, the figures today are even more alarming. Television and movie content in the US are both massively affected by online piracy, with 94% of television content and 77% of movie content now available on free streaming platforms.


43. Internet catfishing statistics show that men are more likely to take on catfishing, with around 25% pretending to be someone they’re not online versus 18% of women.

(Forbes)

For those who don’t know, catfishing is a type of internet fraud in which a person creates a fake online presence for the purpose of abuse, deception, or financial fraud. People most often fall prey to catfishing via dating apps and social media. An FBI report providing internet dating statistics showed an alarming 70% increase in catfishing frauds in 2019. In 2018, 18,000 complaints were registered on dating sites, amounting to more than $362 million worth of damage.

eCommerce statistics of internet usage

The times, they are @-changing. Physical retail venues are losing shoppers by the minute as more and more people turn to online options each day. With global eCommerce revenue registering incredible growth rates, it’s more than obvious that in the near future, e-shopping will become absolutely paramount. In 2018, global e-retail sales grew 22.8% compared to the previous year. During that period, retail eCommerce sales accounted for 12.2 percent of global retail sales.

44. In 2018, Amazon’s share of the eCommerce market was more than 49%.

(CNBC)

Amazon has become synonymous with online retail in the United States, holding almost half of the eCommerce market. Indeed, Amazon’s share is now 5% of the total retail market, making the company a major player in one of the largest industries in the world. US internet usage statistics show that the eCommerce market in the country is set to surpass $740 billion by 2023.


 45. Only 35% of shoppers are willing to pay for delivery on online orders at all.

(United Parcel Service)

With the abundance of shopping sprees, discounts, and special offers, it’s clear customers have already adopted the mindset of avoiding shipping costs. In total, 65% of customers essentially refuse to pay for shipping on online orders.


46. Internet privacy statistics suggest that, globally, 65% of online shoppers identify data privacy as their top concern.

(United Parcel Service)

Online shoppers in Europe prefer payment methods that vouch for increased security, like PayPal, AliPay, and WeChat Pay. Internet usage statistics by age show that as many as 73% of online shoppers who are 65 or older are extremely concerned about falling prey to various forms of cybercrime.


47. Men are more impulsive when it comes to online purchases than women.

(CNBC)

Although women have a reputation for being impulsive shoppers, internet stats regarding online shopping beg to differ. While nearly 90% of both men and women are prone to making impulse purchases, around 25% of men say they spent more than $100 the last time they made an impulse buy, compared to just 16% of women.


48. In 2021, it’s expected that more than 2.14 billion people worldwide will purchase goods or services online.

(Statista)

Compared to 2016, when there were 1.66 billion global digital buyers registered on a yearly basis, the forecast goes to show how online shopping has spread with the emergence of new internet technologies. Statistics about internet users undoubtedly confirm that people are turning to online shopping as physical stores are slowly losing their grip on customers.

Internet statistics project that, by 2022, the eCommerce market will be worth $891.77 billion.

(EMarketer)

Internet growth statistics all agree on one thing: eCommerce is rapidly becoming a major player in global retail. Moreover, digital-impacted retail sales are projected to skyrocket even further. Purchases made both online and in-store by consumers who use a digital channel to research or browse are forecast to add up to more than $2.4 trillion and account for more than 58% of total retail sales by 2022.

FAQ

How much information is on the internet 2019?

According to global internet statistics in January 2019, there were over 1.94 billion websites on the internet. Published on August 6, 1991, info.cern.ch was the first website on the internet. The world averages an internet penetration rate of 55.1% (as compared to 35% in 2013).

These 13 countries have limited or no access to the internet.

As far as internet censorship statistics go, Belarus is considered to enforce the most repressive laws. In fact, the former member state of the USSR was dubbed as an “internet enemy” by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Right behind are Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

Which country has the cheapest Internet?

Ukraine. The Eastern European country offers the cheapest internet in the world, with a monthly average of $5.00. Sri Lanka, Iran, and Russia are right behind, charging $5.65, $8.20, and $9.77 per month, respectively.

What are the top 5 websites visited on the Internet?

Taobao.com, the Chinese online shopping retailer, ranks first place on the list of most-searched websites on the internet. Second on the list of most visited websites is Qq.com, which is the most popular messenger app in China. Reddit sits in third place, with Google surprisingly only coming in fourth. Yahoo comes in fifth, with Wikipedia just missing out in sixth place.

How many websites get hacked a day?

There are around 380 million websites registered in the US alone. More than 30,000 of these websites are infected daily by malware. If we look at the global stats and facts, the number of hacks in the US accounts for more than a third of cyberattacks on the planet.

What percentage of the internet is the Dark Web?

Greenberg notes that while the Deep Web is vast and accounts for more than 90% of the internet, the Dark Web is likely to account for much much less. According to stats on the internet, the Dark Web takes up only .01% of the World Wide Web.

How many people have access to the internet?

According to global internet access statistics, there were 4.33 billion people with access to the internet as of July 2019. Regarding how much of the world has internet, this figure adds up to roughly 58% of the total human population on the planet.

When did the internet start?

In 1983. With the introduction of ARPANET on January 1, 1983, the foundation was laid for what was to become the internet as we know it today.

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