Over a period of five years the online community has doubled. In 2007 alone the global number of internet users is expected to rise from 1.13 to 1.23 billion people. Back in 2002 there were just about 600 million people using the internet. By the end of 2010 the figure of 1.5 billion users will presumably have been surpassed.
The strongest growth, however, is taking place outside Europe, Japan and the USA. By the year 2010 the majority of internet users will not live in these three countries any more. This is the finding of a survey by the EITO European Market Research Institute on behalf of the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITCOM).
The number of European internet users is expected to grow by an average of 6.6% each year from 278 million to 383 million in the period from 2005 to 2010. In the same period the number of users in the US is forecast to increase by 5% on average each year from 209 to 266 million and in Japan by 4.2% from 77 to 95 million people. In all the other countries combined this number is expected to rise by 9.8% each year from 473 to 757 million people. Overall global growth will be 7.7% each year in the period from 2005 to 2010.