March 6, 2007, 12:00 AM

Worldwide Internet growth reached 10% in 2006, comScore reports

Growth in Internet use in the U.S. may be down to a crawl as most adults are online by now, but worldwide, the number of Internet users age 15 or older grew 10% last year, comScore Networks Inc. reports. Worldwide Internet users now number 747 million.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Growth in Internet use in the U.S. may be down to a crawl as most adults are online by now, but worldwide, the number of Internet users age 15 or older grew 10% last year, comScore Networks Inc. reports.

Worldwide Internet users now number 747 million. “The importance of the worldwide Internet population continues to grow,” says Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe. “Internet users outside the U.S. now account for 80% of the world’s online population, with rapidly developing countries experiencing double-digit growth rates year-over-year.”

Fastest growing among the top 15 countries in Internet use are India, with 33% growth; Russia, 21%; and China, 20%. ComScore says China now represents the second-largest Internet population in the world, with 86.8 million users, after the U.S.’s 153.4 million.

Top Internet countries, with 2006 users and 2005 users (in millions) and percent growth, are:
• United States, 150.897, 153.447, 2%
• China, 72.408, 86.757, 20%
• Japan, 51.450, 53.670, 4%
• Germany, 31.209, 32.192, 3%
• United Kingdom, 29.773, 30.072, 1%
• South Korea, 24.297, 26.350, 8%
• France, 23.712, 24.560, 4%
• India, 15.867, 21.107, 33%
• Canada, 18.332, 20.392, 11%
• Italy, 15.987, 18.106, 13%
• Brazil, 12.845, 14.964, 16%
• Spain, 12.206, 12.710, 4%
• Russian Federation, 10.471, 12.707, 21%
• Netherlands, 10.772, 11.077, 3%
• Mexico, 8.624, 10.149, 18%
Worldwide, 676.878, 746.934, 10%

These numbers exclude traffic from public computers such as Internet cafes and access from mobile phones or PDAs.

The top countries in average number of hours online per month are:
• Canada, 39.6
• Israel, 37.4
• South Korea, 34.0
• United States, 31.6
• United Kingdom, 31.2
• Chile, 30.9
• Brazil, 30.2
• Finland, 28.7
• Spain, 27.9
• Sweden, 27.5

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