One-third of the world’s population uses the internet. Among them, developing nations show the biggest gains. According to a new report from the UN telecommunication agency, the International Telecommunication Union, by the end of 2015, countries like China and Philippines are likely to outstrip the U.S. in internet and social media usage on a percentage basis. Although English is currently the most common language on the web, Chinese will soon supplant it. Chinese speakers already have a large presence on the internet, representing 27 percent and 24 percent of total global internet users, respectively, with Spanish in third place. Now looking at the current growth rates, the total number of Chinese language users will overtake English language users. According to a World Bank estimate, 10 percent increase in broadband penetration would yield around a 1.38 percent increase in GDP growth on average for low and middle-income countries, which can directly affect their standards of health and living. The latest update from the International Telecommunication Union indicates that there are now 2.26 billion people online, with 1 billion of them using mobile broadband subscriptions. Also, the average global rate of social network participation has increased a lot. By 2016, the UN’s goal is to have 60 percent of the world population with internet access- 50 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in least developed countries. The quickest growth has occurred in developing countries, where the number of internet users has doubled in the last five years. Africa is the region with the lowest penetration rate, with only 19% of the people on the continent currently using the internet. Inexpensive mobile phones and mobile broadband connections are driving internet access and usage in countries where fixed internet has been out of reach for consumers, be it due to lack of infrastructure or affordability.
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