Growth of the global internet

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that the top language of internet users is English, according to stats from Internet World Stats:

Top 10 languages on the web

English represents the language of nearly one-third of all internet users, according to these stats.

What’s especially interesting, though, is to see the growth rates of languages other than English during the past five years.

French, for instance, up nearly 230 percent. Or Portuguese at 280 percent. Biggest growth (and also unlikely to be a surprise) – Chinese at just under 285 percent.

The figures makes for some interesting interpretations when you view the usage numbers and compare them to the percentage of all speakers in the world of the languages concerned. Chinese is the biggest eye opener where the growth in Chinese-speaking internet users still represents less than 10 percent of all speakers worldwide.

It’s likely that Chinese will stay top of the growth table in the coming years as well as show significant increases in the overall volume (but see below)

Internet World Stats also has some interesting numbers on overall world internet usage and population over the past five years:

World internet usage and population stats

Biggest growth areas are in the developing countries such as in the Latin America/Caribbean area (303 percent), the Middle East (392 percent) and especially Africa (nearly 430 percent).

I wonder how that will look during the next few years when populations in African countries (in particular) have access to tools like the sub-$100 laptop computer when it rolls out. Needs the wireless networking technology to go with it, though.

(Hat tip: IFTF’s Future Now)

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