More than 122 million Europeans over the age if 15 use the Internet each day, either at home, in school or at work. So says a new report from the tracking organisation comScore. The organisation surveyed Internet usage across 16 European countries and it seems that the average European now accesses the net on sixteen and a half days a month, and spends a full 24 hours every four weeks browsing an average of 2,662 web pages.
Out of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU), the Netherlands has the highest Internet penetration, with 83 per cent of the country online. Russia, which for some reason is also included as a European state despite the fact that it is most certainly not in the 27, has the lowest rate of Internet penetration at just 11 per cent. Elsewhere, Germany has the largest online constituency with 32.5 million regular browsers over the age of 15. However, the UK has the most active online users, (in excess of 21.8 million on any given day) each of whom spend 34.4 hours a month hooked up to the Web.
For Europe overall, Internet penetration stands at 40 per cent of the population over the age of 15. Apart from Russia (already cited) only Italy and Spain fall below that level at 36 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.
Commenting on the study, Bob Ivins, the managing director of comScore Europe says, "Increased net usage is tied to broadband roll-out.
The UK is an example of a country whose net usage has increased dramatically as broadband has reached more people. While the study reflects average net usage and penetration, 20 per cent of users account for 60 per cent of usage, with some people spending hundreds of hours online each month." Mr. Ivins adds, "As convergence takes place between TV and the Internet, the nature of what is classed as online and offline will also have to change. The question is, is someone online when watching TV over the net?"
As for online destinations, Google is Europe's most popular search engine, with Microsoft second and Yahoo! a rather distant third. Those countries with the highest Intenet penetration after the Netherlands are: Norway and Sweden (both at 70 per cent); Denmark (at 68 per cent); Finland (at 65 per cent); and the UK (at 62 per cent).
ComScore says that the US has an Internet penetration of 156 million people, of whom 121 million are online on any average day.
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