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Internet World Stats News

Number 039 - February, 2009 - Personal opt-in subscriber edition

2008 Internet Statistics

Table of Contents

  • Editor’s Note

  • New 2008
    Internet Stats

  • Localization and
    Global English

  • Market Research

  • Our blog

  • About this


The Internet World Stats have been updated with new 2008 year-end estimates for Internet users and also world population. Our sincere thanks to the organizations and colleagues that contributed with results, local user estimates and with number of subscriber data. Their help has been essential to us for completing the statistics in several locations.

In order to illustrate the website data we are using now a new and improved version of our own exclusive software for generating graphics, developed in-house by our staff. This program allows us better options for the presentation and display of the statistics at our web sites and other publications.

In each future newsletter edition we will include a feature article by a recognized writer, with themes related to Internet market research. Today our guest author is Martin A. Schell, who writes about Localization and Global English.

Internet World Stats for 2008

The Internet had a fantastic expansion during 2008. All world regions showed gains, although each geographic region exhibits a very different growth rate. This is quite normal due to the socio-economic differences prevailing in each part of the world as well as the already established number of Internet users in each region, country or territory.

The following table shows the population in each region, the estimated number of Internet users, and the penetration rate (this term means the percentage of the population that uses the Internet) in each region.

Internet World Statistics Report
2008 Year-end Internet Users by World Regions



Internet Users

P. R. (%)

% Table




5.6 %

3.4 %

America, North



73.1 %

15.7 %

America, Central



19.0 %

1.8 %

America, South



33.0 %

8.2 %

Caribbean, the



22.0 %

0.6 %




17.2 %

41.3 %




48.5 %

24.8 %

Middle East



23.3 %

2.9 %

Oceania, Australia



59.9 %

1.3 %

Total World



23.5 %

100.0 %

Source: Internet World Stats, estimates for December 31, 2008. Notes: a) Population data comes from the US Census Bureau; b) Internet estimates come from ITU, Nielsen Online, GfK, official telecommunications regulating agencies and other trustworthy surveys; c) Mexico is included in Central America and Turkey is included in Europe, according to the United Nations grouping; d) P.R. means the Penetration Rate.
Copyright © 2009, Miniwatts Marketing Group.

In December 2008 the number of Internet users reached 1,574,313,184 persons. This represents a 23.5% Internet penetration rate for the world. In other words, almost one out of every four persons in the world is capable of using the Internet.

The following website sections display new 2008 statistics and graphics:

1) World Internet Users, seven main geographic regions.
2) Africa, 57 countries and territories.
3) The Americas, the four main regions.
4) Asia, with 35 countries and territories.
5) Europe, featuring 53 countries and territories.
6) The Middle East, with 14 countries and territories.
7) South Pacific, including Australia and 30 countries and territories.

Updating is a never ending task at the IWS website. Newsletter subscribers will be advised by a News Flash to their registered email when specific sections, still pending review, such as regional pages, individual country pages and special reports are completed and uploaded.

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Beyond Localization: The Rising Importance of Global English
Feature article by guest author Martin A. Schell

Conventional wisdom at the end of the 20th century held that teams of translators should be summoned to convert web pages and other documents so that the content could reach a global audience. The teams produced "localized" versions of the web site, meaning they not only translated pages into "major" languages (e.g., Spanish, Chinese) but also adapted the content to the culture of end users who speak those languages.

The number of people who access the Internet surpassed 1 billion by the end of 2005. As more and more people come online in countries that speak "minor" languages, the task of disseminating information in translated form becomes increasingly complex. One must continually add new languages to a web site’s display options. But even if such an extra effort is made, the site’s designers will inevitably ignore large segments of the world who are not native speakers of any of the languages that were chosen.

There are 6,912 living languages, including 347 that have over 1 million speakers each (Gordon, 2005). It is not feasible to translate content into all of them. How often do you see sites that offer the option of viewing pages in Bengali, Marathi, or Telugu, each of which has over 60 million native speakers?

Localization is an excellent way to target a specialized market and increase one’s appeal there. My point is not to abandon localization, but rather to rethink it as a global strategy for the worldwide web. Read the complete article...

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Market Research Notes
Internet Marketing tips by Enrique De Argaez

The purpose of Internet World Stats dot com is to supply website visitors with information, news and data about Internet Marketing Research for all the main world regions, countries and territories. Subjects such as the number of Internet users and penetration rates, size of the population, GNP, and ICT situation, are reported for most of the world countries and territories.

Our approach is to estimate the complete universe of Internet users in the various world regions, and measure their growth since the year 2000. Other market researchers use the concept of "active Internet user" and employ different methodologies for estimating the number of users. This naturally produces different figures. Generally it is understood that an "active Internet user" is a person that has accessed the Internet during the last 30 days.

At Internet World Stats the number of Internet user estimates are based on the "complete universe" of Internet users, without restrictions. Our stats figures therefore include all the people of any age that are capable of using the Internet in a specific country, territory or region. The basis for these stats is the sum of all the Internet access subscribers (dial-up, broadband, dedicated lines, etc) in each area, multiplied by a usage factor. This operation produces the Internet user estimates for that particular location. Figures are then analyzed, verified, compared with other data sources, and the numbers aggregated. The final result is the statistical tables and graphics that we publish at the IWS website.

Online Market Surveys

Research, as a general concept, is the process of gathering information to learn about something that is not fully known. In the Internet nearly everyone engages in some form of research. Research is not only used for the purpose of learning, it is also a critical component needed to make good decisions. For gathering information, a market researcher has two main paths.

The first path, called primary research, involves data collection projects such as using surveys, focus groups, experiments, and observation. The Internet has opened the possibility of doing online surveys. These surveys offer many benefits for obtaining relevant information from your target market. We would always recommend the assistance from a professional company with experience in handling your online survey. Amplitude Research , for example, is a company we know that offers all the services required for a successful survey. An experienced staff will help you design the best questionnaires, write the correct questions, host the survey, and finally produce the reports. Their best reference is viewing their impressive customer list.

Market Research Reports

The second research path is known as secondary research. With secondary research you tap into previously collected information in order to address your research requirements. This type of research is attractive due to the time savings and potential cost savings in acquiring information addressing many marketing questions. Finding the right information, however, often proves difficult.

A good option for access to first class market research data are the reports available from Plunkett Research, covering over 30 industries. Check them out, you might find the information you need in these reports.

Well that's all for today Abuqayyas. See you next month, with more Internet statistics, resources, and tips for your Internet market research projects.

Best personal regards,

Enrique de Argaez
Miniwatts Marketing Group
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