Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have the Highest Internet Adoption Rates Globally, with 99% of their Population Being Online

Published December 10, 2023

The global internet population has grown by 189 million, or 3.7% year-over-year, reaching an impressive 5.3 billion in October. That means over 65% of the world`s population has internet access. However, the internet adoption rates still significantly vary from one country to another.

According to data presented by, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and UAE have the highest internet adoption rate globally, with 99% of their population being online.

The Three Countries Have Much Higher Internet Adoption Rate than the World`s Largest Economies

According to Digital 2023: October Global Statshot Report, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and UAE are the only countries with internet adoption rates of 99%, ranking much higher than most of the world`s largest economies. In fact, the United Kingdom is the only country in that group that ranked on the top ten list.

Statistics show Switzerland and Denmark stand close to Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, with 98.4% and 98.1% internet adoption rates, respectively. The United Kingdom ranked sixth, with 97.8% of its population using the internet, only 0.2% more than South Korea. Malaysia, Sweden, and Singapore follow, with 97.4%, 97.2%, and 96.2%, respectively.

The Western countries and the world`s largest economies are below these figures, some of them significantly. Statistics show around 93% of the population in Germany and France is online today, 6% less than in the top three countries. Interestingly, while American digital trends significantly impact the rest of the world, internet adoption in the United States is below that across the European Union and the UK and stands at 91.8%.

Although Japan has the most affordable internet globally, the country`s internet adoption rate is much smaller than those mentioned above. Statistics show that 82.9% of Japanese are online today, almost the same as in Bulgaria, Mexico, Greece, and Turkey.

China, the world`s second-largest economy, has an internet adoption rate of 75.7%. Still, that is much more than in India, where only 53% of the population has internet access.

India and China Have the Largest Unconnected Population of more than One Billion People

The DataReportal survey showed North Korea still holds the last place in the global ranking, with 99.9% of its population being offline. South Sudan, Somalia, and Central African Republic are also at the bottom of the connectivity spectrum, with almost 90% of their population being offline.

However, India is home to the world’s largest unconnected population, with 673 million people across the country who still don`t use the internet. Despite showing an internet adoption rate of more than 75%, China is home to the world’s second-largest unconnected population. As of October 2023, more than 347 million Chinese were offline, or 24% of the country`s entire population. Together, the two countries have over one billion people without internet access, making up 38% of the world`s total unconnected population.

Jastra Kranjec

Jastra is an editor, writer, and PR specialist with years of experience in news, research, and report writing. Over the years, she has covered different topics and markets, including social media, digital content, the creator economy and the entertainment industry.