694 Million People Use the Internet Worldwide

originally uploaded by horstgeorg

comScore Networks today announced the launch of comScore World Metrix, the first true estimate of global online audience size and behavior based on activity from the world’s largest online behavioral research panel. The comScore World Metrix panel has active representation from countries that comprise 99 percent of the global Internet population. In launching comScore World Metrix, the company announced that 694 million people, age 15+, used the Internet worldwide from all locations in March 2006, representing 14 percent of the world’s total population within this age group. This number marks the first worldwide universe estimate based on a consistent methodology across all countries.

Israel, Finland and South Korea Lead the World in Online Engagement

comScore also released the top 15 countries ranked by average hours spent online per visitor for March 2006, as a measure of engagement. Israel led the list, with the average user spending 57.5 hours online during the month – twice as much time compared to the average person in the U.S, which did not rank in the top 15 countries. Rounding out the top 5 were Finland, South Korea, the Netherlands and Taiwan – all countries with high broadband penetration.

Until now, we've had to rely on Alexa for worldwide numbers. Now we've got numbers with some real work and QA behind them. Internet users outside the U.S. now account for 80 percent of the world's online population, with rapidly developing countries experiencing double-digit growth rates year-over- year.

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