Asia-Pacific will boast over 1.33 billion internet users this year, eMarketer estimates—the largest online population of any region in the world. But the sheer size Asia-Pacific offline plays a big role in its large share of the pie.
Within the region, internet usage rates span a broad range, from as low as 17.4% of India’s population this year, to nearly eight in 10 in South Korea. There is a clear split between developed internet economies South Korea, Japan and Australia, which all have at least three-quarters of their total populations online, and less developed—if burgeoning—markets like Indonesia and India.
Unsurprisingly, it’s these less mature markets that are growing their web populations more quickly, both because of their relatively smaller bases and the basic fact that saturation is far off in these countries. Double-digit growth rates in India’s internet population are expected throughout eMarketer’s forecast period, while Indonesia will also post increases of 10.0% or higher through 2016. By contrast, we expect the online populations of South Korea and Japan to stagnate over the same period.
China falls somewhere in the middle: Already, nearly half of the country’s population is online, and growth rates are much lower than in India and Indonesia. And the overall size of China means that even with a middling internet penetration rate, the country will account for just shy of half of Asia-Pacific’s total number of internet users this year. Its share of the total in the region will fall throughout the forecast period as India picks up more than 4 percentage points between 2014 and 2018 and Indonesia boosts its slice of the total slightly over the same period.
eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.
In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all of its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.
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