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World Internet Stats: Websites, Email, Social Media, and More

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In 2012, roughly 2.4 billion people worldwide used the Web, recording some 2.7 billion Facebook likes and 175 million tweets per day, according to a report by Pingdom, which compiled a year of data on the Internet, email, and social media.

Some key worldwide findings for 2012:

Below, additional finding form Pingdom's report, based on data from a wide range of sources, including Internet World Stats, StatCounter, Verisign, Facebook, and Twitter

As of June 30, 2012, Asia accounted for the plurality (44.8%) of the world's Internet population; Europe followed with 21.6% and North America with 11.4%: 

The populations of Internet users across the world (amounting to 2.4 billion users) were as follows:

  • Asia: 1.1 billion Internet users
  • Europe: 519 million
  • North America: 274 million
  • Latin America / Caribbean: 255 million
  • Africa: 167 million
  • Middle East: 90 million
  • Oceania/Australia: 24.3 million

China had 565 million Internet users—more than any other country in the world. China's Internet penetration (among its total population) was roughly 42% in mid-2012.

World Internet Penetration

The penetration of Internet users among a population tells a slightly different story than user counts.

North America had the highest Internet penetration as of June, at 78.6%, followed by Oceana/Australia (67.6%) and Europe (63.2%). 


Domain Names

Below, are stats on Web domains as of December 2012, from Verisign:

  • Number of domain name registrations across all top-level domains: 246 million
  • Number of country code top-level domain name registrations: 104.9 million
  • Number of .com domain names: 100 million
  • Number of .net domain names: 14.1 million
  • Number of .org domain names: 9.7 million
  • Number of .info domain names: 6.7 million
  • Number of .biz domain names: 2.2 million


The report also compiled website stats from various data providers:


Email findings for the full year of 2012 were provided by the Radicati Group, a tech market research firm:

  • Number of email users worldwide: 2.2 billion
  • Total email traffic per day worldwide: 144 billion messages
  • Number of email clients worldwide: 4.3 billion

Other email stats, from various sources:

Social Media

The report also compiled user stats and engagement metrics for Facebook and Twitter in 2012, from various sources.

Facebook stats:

Twitter stats:

Other social media stats:

Read the full post for other data on Web browsers, search, mobile technology, video, and image content.

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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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  • by vandi Mon Feb 4, 2013 via web

    Hi, Do you have data for specific countries in Africa rather than the entire continent? I am looking for East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda specifically.


  • by abai victor asondo Mon Feb 4, 2013 via web

    its so interesting to have joint you guys, may God BLESS YOU and continue to give you courage to provide us with valuable statistics.

  • by Frank Gainsford Mon Feb 4, 2013 via web

    Hi Lenna thanx for a great article. Did you purposefully omit G+ (Google Plus) stats or do you believe that G+ (Google Plus) is unimportant?

  • by Lenna Mon Feb 4, 2013 via web

    Hi, Vandi.

    Check out World Internet Stats; they have a few pages on Africa. Here's the link:

    Other possible sources are comScore and the World Bank.


  • by Lenna Mon Feb 4, 2013 via web

    Hi, Frank.

    These stats were compiled by Pingdom; they did the heavy lifting on this one! (A link to their post is at the beginning and end of the article).

    I reported the findings that I thought would be most relevant to our readers. That said, Pingdom didn't collect much on Google+--just one data point, I believe, which I included. I do think 2012 was a big year for Google+.


  • by Steve Lubahn Sat Feb 9, 2013 via web

    Great confirmation and quantification of the ongoing trends in digital marketing!

  • by Elaine Fogel Tue Feb 12, 2013 via web

    Amazing stats, Lenna!

  • by anna Thu Feb 21, 2013 via web

    mi piace il lavoro con internet vi prego aiutatemi a lavorare con voi grazie a tutti

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