MONEY Internet

Here’s How Many Internet Users There Are

Mobile is fueling global connectivity

More than 3 billion people are now using the Internet, according to the United Nations agency that oversees international communications.

The number of Internet users has increased from 738 million in 2000 to 3.2 billion in 2015, according to a new report from the International Telecommunication Union. That’s a seven-fold increase that brought Internet penetration up from 7% to 43% of the global population. Of all connected individuals, the ITU says most of them — some 2 billion — live in developing countries:

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.03.25 AM

Much of the growth in web connectivity has come from mobile. Mobile broadband penetration has gone up 12-fold since 2007, and this year 69% of people on earth will be covered by 3G broadband. Meanwhile, growth in fixed-broadband connectivity has slowed, with just 7% annual growth over the last three years. That’s likely because access to it is 1.7 times more expensive than the average comparable mobile broadband plan:

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 10.59.51 AM

One reason Internet access has taken off over the past 15 years is rising affordability. The ITU reports broadband is currently affordable in 111 countries, with a basic fixed or mobile plan costing less than 5% of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at


Dear MONEY Reader,

As a regular visitor to, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The MONEY Team