A new report from market analysis firm JupiterResearch forecasts that the online population will increase from 1.1 billion users in 2006 to 1.5 billion users in 2011, representing about 22 percent of the world’s overall population, or just over one in five individuals. Much of the growth will come from developing economies like Brazil, Inida, China, and Russia.
"China and India, given their large population base will provide the most substantial push to the worldwide online population," explained Vikram Sehgal, Research Director at JupiterResearch, and lead analyst on the report. "In these countries, increased infrastructure development and relatively higher purchasing power from rapid growth of gross domestic product will coincide with increased consumer adoption of the Internet through 2011."
The report forecasts that the United States and western Europe will see their proportionate share of the overall online population decline. Online penetration in both regions is forecast to cap at about 76 percent, but North America’s share of the online population is expected to drop from 21 percent in 2006 to 17 percentin 2011.
"The Internet has clearly changed the way we have done business in the past decade—and by all indications, it will serve as the centerpiece of what is to become a truly global economy," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch, in a release. "Recognizing where the most substantial growth is expected to take place could result in a tremendous opportunity."
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