Nigeria ranked ninth as the country with the most internet users as of 2015. This was the conclusion from a report by DigitXplus that looked at trends in internet usage around the world and in some selected countries in Africa.
DigitXplus is a marketing firm established in 2014 that specializes in digital advertising, online media campaign for firms, provision of content for websites and general e-marketing for clients. They are mainly based in Africa, with headquarters in Nigeria; and over the last two years they have become an industry leader.
The report which is available for download here, also looked at trends in Internet activities across 13 countries in West and Central Africa.
The stats are based on figures for last year. However one year later, I am sure standing of the countries in the chart would not have changed in terms of position. Though the number of users for each of the countries would have increased as more and more people around the world get connected to the Internet.
China, the country with the largest population and gross domestic product, unsurprisingly took the top spot as the country with the most Internet users. And following the trend of large population and high GDP, the United States is second on the list.
The raw figures show that 632 million people are connected to the Internet in China while the second place country, the US, had 269 million citizens active on the Internet. The large disparity between he first and second placed countries can be explained by the fact that China’s population is over 3 times that of the US.
Worldwide, the figures show that 3.2 billion people are using the Internet. This represents an 8.9% increase when compared to the figures in 2014.
The Asia-Pacific region had the highest concentration of Internet users with 1.6 billion users. Of course that number would be bloated by the figures from China and India (India was third in the country by country ranking with 198 million users).
Coming back home to Africa and Nigeria, the 63 million people actively using the Internet is a testament to the fast growth of Internet usage in the country in the last few years.
The figure clearly puts Nigeria as the number one country in terms of the number of citizens on the Internet. The second placed country in Africa is Egypt at 43 million people.
This should not be surprising as Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and is the most populous country on the continent.
So it is clear that the Internet usage in any country is a function of the size of the population and the relative wealth of the country.
For Nigeria, the four years leading to the publication of the report witnessed a steady increase in Internet usage. For instance 35.7 million people used the Internet in 2011. Three years later in 2014, that figure had increased by about by about 22 million to 57.7 million users.
And in the one year between 2014 and 2015 when the report was published, about 5 million more users became connected to the Internet.
What the report does not tell us are stats related to individual Internet use and how it impacted on those overall figures.
For instance, I actively use two different networks for accessing the Internet everyday. I know many people who even use more than that.
This is because of the unstable nature of networks in Nigeria where downtimes are too frequent. So subscribing to more than one network is the only option to get around the issue of downtimes. If one network fails. You just switch to a different network.
The point is, for an individual who subscribe for up to four different networks, that is likely to show up as four different users in the stats. Because the stats are an aggregation of subscribers of the different networks.
I don’t know if the same issue applies in other countries. But I bet the actual number of Internet users in Nigeria is less than the official stats indicate.
image credit: DigitXplus; financialwatchngr.com