- Two-thirds of the global population uses the internet, but 2.7 billion people are still offline.
- Three-quarters of the world’s population now own a mobile phone.
- In the United States, 1 in 5 households is not connected to the internet at home.
- The average broadband speed in the U.S. is currently 198 Mbps — ninth fastest in the world.
- U.S. households spend an average of $114/mo. on cable and internet.
The scale of the internet can be hard to wrap your head around. About two-thirds of the world now uses the internet regularly, and in the United States, around 93% of adults are online. That said, there are still huge disparities in internet use. To help monitor the state of the internet globally and in the U.S., Allconnect will continue to monitor and update these key markers as new data becomes available.
Global internet usage
The past two decades have seen an explosion in internet connectivity, adding about 98 million users in the past year alone. Of course, this isn’t distributed evenly — there are still sharp disparities in internet use between men and women, urban and rural residents, and different regions.
- An estimated 5.3 billion people, or 66% of the world’s population, use the internet.1
- North America has the highest share of its population using the internet (91.5%), followed by Europe and Central Asia (83.9%), Middle East and North Africa (77.8%), and Latin America and Caribbean (73.7%).2
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the least connected region, with just 30% of the population using the internet.2
- Globally, 69% of the male population uses the internet, compared to 63% of the female population. That means there were 259 million more men than women using the internet in 2022.1
- Women outnumber male non-users by 18%, up from 11% in 2019.1
- 82% of people living in cities use the internet, compared to just 46% of people living in rural areas.1
- Over the past five years, data usage has increased by an average of 22% yearly for each internet user.1
For many people, smartphones are their primary gateway to the internet. In areas without reliable or affordable broadband internet, mobile connections do much of the heavy lifting of getting residents online.
- Over the past decade, the percentage of the global population with a smartphone grew by a massive 14.8% per year on average.1
- Three-quarters of the world’s population now own a mobile phone.1
- Mobile broadband (3G or above) is currently available to 95% of the world’s population.1
- 19% of the global population was covered by a 5G network in 2021.1
- 60% of all internet traffic in the world comes through a mobile phone. In the United States, only 52% of traffic is mobile.3
- In the United States, there are 107.3 mobile phone subscriptions per 100 people.4
- The average speed for mobile connections around the world is 39.77 Mbps download and 10.18 Mbps upload.5
- The United Arab Emirates leads the world in mobile speed, with 179.61 Mbps download speed on average.6
- Users in the United States get average mobile speeds of 82.27 Mbps download, which is 19th fastest in the world.7
Home internet speed has grown exponentially in the past decade. Globally, the average broadband speed is currently double what it was in 2018 — going from 46 Mbps to 110 Mbps — and shows no signs of slowing down as connected homes require increasing amounts of bandwidth.
- The average speed for broadband connections globally is 78.62 Mbps download and 34.39 Mbps upload.5
- Users in the United States get average broadband speeds of 198 Mbps download and 22.89 Mbps upload, ranking ninth fastest in the world.7
- The average internet plan in the U.S. is advertised at 307.7 Mbps download speeds.8
- Broadband speed in the U.S. increased 18% overall between 2021 and 2022.9
While internet access has exploded over the past decade, it has not been distributed equitably. Here’s where we currently stand on the digital divide in the U.S. and around the world.
- 18% of the global population has a home broadband subscription.1
- In the United States, there are 37.7 broadband subscriptions per 100 people. That ranks 23th out of 266 countries.4
- 1 in 5 U.S. households are not connected to the internet at home.10
- 58% of offline households say they have no interest in going online, while 18% said it’s too expensive, and 4% said it’s not available in their area.10
- 80% of White Americans have a home broadband subscription, compared with 71% of Black adults and 65% of Hispanic adults.11
- 79% of suburban Americans have a broadband subscription, compared with 77% of adults living in urban areas and 72% in rural areas.12
- The average U.S. household spends $114/mo. on cable and internet.13
- 7% of Americans say they don’t use the internet at all.14
Written by:Joe Supan
Principal Writer, Broadband Content
Joe Supan is a principal writer for Allconnect and CNET. He has helped build the proprietary metrics used on Allconnect’s review pages, utilizing thousands of data points to help readers navigate these complex… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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