Africa Now Has More Internet Users Than North America And The Middle East Combined

children using a phone

TL;DR: Only 40 percent of Africans used the internet last month but considering the number of users only, Africa contributed more internet users than North America and the Middle East combined and even outdid Latin America.

Last month, an estimated 40 percent of Africans used the internet. By the look of things, that figure does seem paltry or perhaps average at best. But the actual picture is a lot prettier.

That 40 percent represents an estimated 525 million Africans who went online last month; a figure that eclipses the combined figures from North America (327 million) and the Middle East (174 million).

This was the recent submission from data compiled by Miniwatts, a global marketing firm, using information from Nielsen Online, GIK, the International Telecommunications Union, and local regulators.

The number of African online users is already larger than in Latin America (448 million) and at current growth rates could surpass Europe (719 million) as internet penetration on the continent continues on its upward trajectory.

Perhaps no other graphic did justice to the true picture of things as a visual representation that was published on Reddit. The graphic juxtaposed internet penetration with total population for each continent and it reflected just how well the African continent is holding its own in the digital era.

World internet usage 2019World internet usage 2019

In Kenya, 83 percent of the population are online already compared to South Africa (56 percent) and Nigeria (60 percent). But Nigeria’s internet population of 112 million implies that more than one out of five African internet users are actually from the world’s most populous nation.

internet world stats

With Google and Facebook planning separate projects to lay down underwater cables in an effort to bring more internet capacity to the continent and boost internet speeds, it’s easy to see internet penetration increasing tremendously in the near future. Africa is not just punching above its weight; this time, the continent is flexing its digital muscle.

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