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Chile Boasts Highest Internet User Penetration in Latin America

Internet users in the country will total 12.3 million this year

February 13, 2015 | Advertising & Marketing

Chile will be home to 18.0 million people in 2015, according to projections by Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (INE). Meanwhile, the CIA World Factbook estimates the country’s GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) terms reached $335.4 billion in 2013. By those metrics, Chile ranked seventh in Latin America. In comparison, the country was No. 1 by GDP per capita in PPP in the region, with an estimated $19,100 in 2013, according to the US agency. Though consumers in Chile possess greater disposable income than peers in any other economy in continental Latin America, mass-market limitations loom over the nation’s aging population—median age stood at 33.3 years, with 43.2% of the total in the 25-to-54 set in 2014.

Internet Users in Select Countries in Latin America, Aug 2013 & Aug 2014 (millions and % change)

Last year, Chile ranked a slightly higher sixth place in Latin America when compared by online population. According to comScore, the country reached 6.4 million internet users in August 2014 and outpaced neighbor Peru (population 30.1 million in July 2014, according to the CIA World Factbook), which totaled 6.1 million internet users during the same period. The comScore estimates, however, excluded traffic from public computers such as internet cafes—still highly popular in Peru—and mobile devices.

A GlobalCollect and Newzoo study also found Chile had the sixth-highest internet audience in the region in 2014, at 13.8 million. By this measure, Chile also edged the estimated 13.1 million consumers who went online in Peru during that period.

eMarketer estimates that 12.3 million individuals of any age will use the internet via any device in Chile in 2015, also placing it in sixth place at the regional level. But when market size comes into account, the country tops the charts as it does in GDP per capita. We estimate the country will sport the highest internet user penetration in the region in 2015, at 70.5%, and maintain that lead through 2018, when 73.5% of the population will access the web. By comparison, the regional averages will stand at 54.1% and 60.0%, respectively, in those two years.

Roughly 80% of internet traffic in Chile comes from PCs, according to August 2014 comScore data. Noncomputer traffic—about one-fifth of the total—is mostly driven by mobile phones, which accounted for 16.5% of all internet traffic in the country.

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