37 million people on-line

Nielsen//Netratings releases largest ever global measurement of Internet penetration. Among the findings, are a internet population of 37 million across four key Asia Pacific markets and 82 million across 14 European markets.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor

The Q2 2000 Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends reported that across four key Asia Pacific markets of Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, an approximate of 37 million people aged two and above have access to the Intenet from a home pc.

Among these markets, Japan has the highest penetration rate with 26.3 million. Australia has the second highest internet population of 7.6 million. Singapore has 1.7 and New Zealand comes in with 1.3 million. (See table 1).

The Q2 2000 service covers data collected between April and June 2000 across Europe and Asia Pacific, drawn from more than 25,000 surveys conducted using consistent research methodology.

Q3 service is expected to be expanded to include tyrends in North America and globally.

The report also indicates that acorss 14 key European markets, approximately 82 million people have access to Internet from Home pc.

Countries Number of People 2+
USA 136.9
Japan 26.3
UK 19.4
Germany 15.5
Canada 13.1
Italy 11.1
Australia 7.6
Netherland 6.8
France 6.5
Spain 4.6
Sweden 4.5
Belgium 2.7
Switzerland 2.4
Denmark 2.3
Norway 2.2
Austria 1.7
Singapore 1.7
Finland 1.6
New Zealand 1.3
Ireland 0.8
Table 1. Number of people 2+ (in millions) with Internet access via home pc.

"The US and Japan are widely recognized as having the largest Internet populations in the world," said David Day, director of analytics, ACNielsen eRatings.com. "With Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends we see a European penetration figure of 82 million people which equates to one household in five, with more than half -- 56% -- of those people residing in the UK, Germany and Italy. Those three countries are well worth watching in the coming months as they continue to emerge on the global scene."

At an individual level, the adult populations (16+) of Norway, Denmark and Sweden have the highest levels of access to the Internet from any location, including work. In addition, greater proportions of their populations have used the Internet and remain frequent users, more likely to browse the Internet for product and pricing information and registering among the most prolific on-line purchasers. (See Table 2).

Demonstrating the maturity of those markets, around half of the households with Internet access in Norway, Denmark and Sweden have had Internet access at least since 1998.

Similarly, among Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the Singaporean market is the most mature with a greater proportion of people having gained access to the Internet either in 1998 or prior to 1998.

Browsing for product and price information on the Internet, however, is a more firmly entrenched activity for Australians and New Zealanders than for Singaporeans.

On-line purchasing is also more likely to happen in Australia and New Zealand than in Singapore, as nearly a quarter of adults 16 or older in Australia and New Zealand have browsed the Internet for pricing or other information on products and services, and slightly more than one in 10 Australians have then gone on to make a purchase.

In Singapore, only 14% of people 16 or older has browsed the Internet for products, with only 4% going on to make a purchase.

Countries %People borwsing for products on-line % People purchasing on-line
Australia 23 11
Austria 21 10
Belgium 9 4
Denmark 31 11
Finland 22 9
France 5 2
Germany 18 10
Ireland 10 4
Italy 6 2
Netherlands 18 5
New Zealand 23 8
Norway 23 10
Singapore 14 4
Spain 5 1
Sweden 31 17
Switzerland 23 11
UK 14 9
Table 2. % People (16+) browsing for products on-line and purchasing, past 6 months.

In Europe, the Nordic countries as a group tended to exhibit the highest levels of online product browsing. However, the UK had the highest browse-to-purchase ratio of all the European countries, with 64% of UK Internet users who have browsed for information and prices about products and services having made a purchase in the past six months. The lowest levels of browsing activity were observed in Belgium/Luxembourg, Italy, France and Spain.

Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends measures more than 30 factors, including: the number of total households and people with Internet access at home or other locations; the demographic breakdown of the home Internet population; home PC ownership; rates of use of home PC's for connection to the Internet; the period of time when Internet access was acquired in a household or is expected; the number of fixed and mobile telephones per household, and the level of online purchasing.

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