China is far and away the world’s largest internet market, in addition to being its largest country overall, according to new estimates of internet usage worldwide by eMarketer.
Internet usage in the country skews male, with 55.3% of the internet population being male in 2014. Just over half the male population of the country is online, compared to 43.7% of females. By 2018, eMarketer expects the internet population to be split exactly in half by gender—which will mean penetration rates are actually higher for women, who represent a minority of the country’s overall population.
The number of internet users worldwide will surpass 3 billion in 2015, according to new figures from eMarketer, increasing 6.2% next year to reach 42.4% of the entire world’s population
This year, the internet will reach more than two in five people in the world for the first time as online audience hits 2.89 billion users globally. By 2018, eMarketer estimates, nearly half the world’s population, or 3.6 billion people, will access the internet at least once each month.
Inexpensive mobile phones and mobile broadband connections are driving internet access and usage in countries where fixed internet has been out of reach for consumers, whether that’s due to lack of infrastructure or affordability,” said Monica Peart, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.
The latest internet user forecast added 19 new countries, bringing the total to 41—including the first breakouts for individual countries in Middle East & Africa. In addition, emarketer significantly expanded the coverage of countries in Southeast Asia, Central & Eastern Europe and Latin America.