It’s a small world after all, and that’s a great thing- especially if you want to expand your brand internationally. The quality of life for people all over the Earth is continuously getting better, which allows a larger slice of humanity to enjoy the internet every year. Although you may have a solid user base in the United States, Japan or Germany, there is a solid list of countries with at least 80% or more of their citizens online that are waiting to experience what your business has to offer. This guide features every nation sporting “at least 80% of their population connected to the internet via mobile or PC” as of January 2015, to demonstrate where in the world you have the best chances of growing your brand online.
Although Americans are well-known for our love of the internet (and we really do!), there is a slightly higher percentage of Canadians online: 87% vs. 93%, respectively. When you tally up the entire populations of the Caribbean, North, Central and South America that are active internet users, about 65% of the Western Hemisphere is connected to the internet.
Topping the list with 90% or more of their citizenry actively connected to the virtual world are Iceland and Norway (95%), along with Sweden (94%), Denmark, the Netherlands (93%), Luxembourg and Finland (91%). The European continent has the largest total percentage of wired citizens (70%), and the region’s other high-scoring countries include the United Kingdom, Germany (89%), Switzerland, France (84%), Belgium (82%), Austria (81%), Slovakia and Estonia (80%).
Due to a wide variety of issues including economic instability and political upheaval across the region, access to the internet is the least of many people’s concern across large areas of the Middle East, resulting in a low overall online population of only 36%. However, the most stable nations in the area are some of the most connected countries on the planet, such as Kuwait (99%), Qatar, Bahrain (97%) and Lebanon (80%).
Asia is such a wildly varied part of the world in culture, government and topography, and although the continent hosts the largest percentage of the human race, only 35% of people living in this region have access to the internet. South Korea leads the pack at (90%), followed by Australia, New Zealand (89%), Japan (86%) and Singapore (81%).
On the surface, the fact that only 42% of the human race has access to the internet may seem a little low, but that’s only until you realize that totals to about 3,010,000,000 people!
About 45% of China’s population is online, but that 45% is still twice the population of the United States, and 75% of the residents of Beijing have access to the internet.
Hong Kong (79%), Spain (77%) and Israel (76%), are among the countries that are quickly inching towards the golden 80% of the population, so global brands and advertisers should keep a close eye on these territories.
Major mobile companies are in a global “arms race” to establish themselves in developing nations that are quick to embrace the internet, and it will be interesting to observe which brands successfully captivate internet users in Brazil (54%), Egypt (53%), South Africa (49%), Mexico (49%), India (19%) and beyond.
2015 looks to be another milestone year as millions of individuals become regular internet users due to the availability of inexpensive mobile devices and expanding broadband coverage. That fact is exciting not only for the creative brands and advertisers who will have new audiences to connect with, but for everyone observing how these multicultural first-generation internet users will have an effect on worldwide e-commerce, social media and web-based entertainment.
Which nations will join the 80% Online Club next? Where will the latest internet innovations come from? Who will make the biggest impact on the world’s most web-enabled nations? We’re just as excited as you are to find out, so stay tuned!