Nearly half of all European Internet users are clustered in just five Western European countries - the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy - according to new findings from Forrester Research.
Within these five markets, however, Internet penetration and growth rates vary greatly, from a high of 69% in the UK in 2008, to 49% in Italy.
The researcher also found that the number of people online around the world will grow more than 45 percent to 2.2 billion users over the next five years
Asia remains the biggest global Internet growth engine: 43 percent of the world's online population will reside in Asia by 2013, with 17 percent of the global online population in China.
Growth rates in the US, Western Europe, and the major industrialized nations in Asia Pacific such as Australia, Japan, and South Korea will slow to between 1 percent and 3 percent.
"While per capita online spending is likely to remain highest in North America, Western Europe, and the developed markets of Asia throughout the next five years, the shifting online population and growing spending power among Asian consumers means that Asian markets will represent a far greater percentage of the total in 2013 than they do today," said Forrester Research Senior Analyst, Zia Daniell Wigder.
"Multinational organizations must understand the dynamics of the shifting global online population to ensure that they are positioned to take advantage of emerging international opportunities."
Europe's Internet growth will be fuelled by the continent's emerging markets. Internet usage in Russia and Turkey will grow by almost 8 percent annually, while growth in Spain's online population will increase by an average of more than 5 percent each year.
Countries With The Most Internet Users: 2008
Countries With The Most Internet Users: 2013
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