Internet users are estimated to reach 6 billion in the next 5 years

Ruth C. | August 03, 2023

The internet has become an indispensable part of our lives, transforming how we communicate and access information. As we look ahead, the internet's influence is set to surge even further.

According to estimations by the Atlas VPN team, the number of internet users is projected to surpass 6 billion within the next five years.

As of 2023, there are approximately 5.16 billion internet users globally, accounting for 64.4% of the world's population. By 2028, this number is expected to rise by nearly a fifth (19%) and reach 6.13 billion. 

These estimations are based on historic internet user data provided by DataReportal.

Internet user numbers and penetration rates vary widely around the globe. Developed countries typically boast internet penetration rates of over 80%, while those with less advanced cyberspace can hover below 50%. Surprisingly, the top 20 countries alone account for a staggering 3.67 billion internet users, representing 71% of the world's total. 

China currently leads the world in terms of the largest internet user population, with 1.05 billion users, comprising over 20% of the total global internet users. Overall,73.7% of China's population has internet access.

India, the second most populous country as of January 2023, holds the second spot on the list with 692 million internet users. However, only about 48.7% of India's population has internet access, ranking it below the world's average. In fact, India has the highest number of unconnected people worldwide, with over 730 million individuals lacking internet access.

Next on the list is the United States (US), with 311.3 million internet users, which translates to approximately 91.8% of its population having internet access.

The US is followed by Indonesia and Brazil, with 212.9 million and 181.8 million internet users, respectively. 77% of Indonesia's population has internet access, while Brazil's rate is slightly higher at 84.3%. Brazilians also rank second in terms of time spent online.

Other countries in the top ten include Russia (127.6 million), Nigeria (122.5 million), Japan (102.5 million), Mexico (100.6 million), and the Philippines (85.16 million).

The digital future

As the number of internet users continues to climb steadily and technology evolves exponentially, the digital landscape is poised for profound transformations, ushering in new opportunities and challenges that will shape the future of our interconnected world.

As the number of internet users grows, so do the risks associated with data privacy and cybersecurity. Cyber threats, data breaches, and identity theft are increasingly prevalent in a hyper-connected world. 

Not surprisingly, most Americans regard cyberterrorism as the most pressing danger to the United States, according to a Gallup poll on world affairs.

Strengthening data protection regulations, promoting cybersecurity awareness, and investing in robust cybersecurity technologies are vital steps to safeguarding users' digital identities and national security.

The digital revolution is also reshaping the future of work, offering new possibilities for remote work, flexible job opportunities, and digital entrepreneurship. 

However, it also presents challenges related to job displacement and the need for a skilled workforce adept at navigating the digital landscape. Embracing lifelong learning and digital skills development will be key to thriving in the digital economy.

In conclusion, the projected growth in internet users promises a dynamic and transformative digital future. 

At the same time, it also demands proactive efforts to enhance cybersecurity measures, promote sustainable digital practices, and ensure that the workforce is able to adapt successfully.

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Ruth C.

Ruth C.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. Interested in cybercrime, online security, and privacy-related topics.

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