Canada in the Worldwide Top 3 for Internet Penetration Rate

by Jean-Francois Belisle on April 24, 2009

in Economics,Online Marketing Trends,Ranking,Technology and Society

As a follow-up to my last post entitled The 10 Most Hi-Tech Cities in the World, I was thinking about another simple and easy-to-understand ranking that could impress, destabilize, or even wake up, for a single minute, a curious audience in a business happy-hour cocktail. While preparing myself for a Macromarketing Conference, I ended up discovering interesting findings concerning one of the most important macroeconomic indicators of innovation: “the Internet penetration rate”. Personally, my Top 3 ranking would certainly have included countries such as South Korea, Japan or Singapore. However, strangely, while looking at The Internet World Stats database I ended up being exposed to results that surprised me. I decided to compile my own Top 30 countries with the highest Internet penetration rate for nations with more than a million individuals:

1. Netherlands – 90.1%;
2. Norway – 87.7%;
3. Canada – 84.3%;
4. New Zealand – 80.5%;
5. Australia – 79.4%;
6. Sweden – 77.4%;
7. Japan – 73.8%;
8. Portugal – 72.9%;
9. Israel – 72.8%;
10. United States – 72.3%;
11. South Korea – 70.7%;
12. Hong Kong – 69.5%;
13. Switzerland – 69.0%;
14. Denmark – 68.6%;
15. Finland – 68.6%;
16. United Kingdom – 68.6%;
17. Taiwan – 67.2%;
18. Slovenia – 64.8%;
19. Germany – 63.8%;
20. Spain – 63.3%;
21. Belarus – 61.9%;
22. Italy – 59.7%;
23. Estonia – 59.7%;
24. Malaysia – 59.0%;
25. Singapore – 58.6%;
26. France – 58.1%;
27. Austria – 56.7%;
28. Bulgaria – 55.1%;
29. Romania – 53.9%;
30. Jamaica – 53.5%.

The penetration rates for the Top 5 countries were not that surprising: Netherlands (90.1%), Norway (87.7%), Canada (84.3%), New Zealand (80.5%), and Australia (79.4%). However, what was most surprising is the low Internet penetration rate for what I thought would be the Top 3, that is to say, Japan (ranked 7th, 73.8%), South Korea (ranked 11h, 70.7%), and Singapore (ranked 25h, 58.6%; for some reasons explaining the low penetration rate of Singapore, I would refer to Chandler Nguyen’s blog). Moreover, the extent of rural regions, the importance of traditions and the high number of individuals older than 65 years old are amongst the reasons that could explain low results for the Old Europe countries such as Germany (ranked 19th, 63.8%), Italy (ranked 22nd, 59,7%) and France (ranked 26th, 58.1%). A map summary from The Internet World Stats database concerning the Internet penetration rate by country for 2007, is proposed in the figure below.

Worldwide Internet Penetration Rate by Country in 2007

Worldwide Internet Penetration Rate by Country in 2007

In conclusion, after reading this post, I hope you’ll network a little more during your next business happy-hour cocktail, but be careful and stay alert to be sure that your new knowledge doesn’t make you a strong candidate for closing the bar…

Jean-Francois Belisle

P.S.: The following blog post entitled Top 30 for Internet Penetration Rate in 2010 is an update of both this post and this ranking.

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