This map, created at the Oxford Internet Institute with data pulled from the 2011 World Bank, shows countries by the size of their Internet population and by Internet penetration. Take a look at where China stands.
The size-adjusted map reveals China as having the world’s largest Internet population at over half a billion, followed by the US, India and Japan.
The map also shows two interesting trends regarding the largest Internet countries:
First, the rise of Asia as the main contributor to the world’s Internet population; 42% of the world’s Internet users live in Asia, and China, India, and Japan alone host more Internet users than Europe and North America combined.
Second, few of the world’s largest Internet countries fall into the top category (>80%) of Internet penetration (and indeed India falls into the lowest category, at <20% penetration). In other words, in all of the world’s largest Internet nations, there is still substantial room for growth.
Among China’s 1.354 billion people, only 20 to 40 precent of them actually use the Internet. The Atlantic reports that, “Over the next decade, China’s size on this map will only grow larger—and redder—which will have a number of consequences for businesses looking to capitalize, as well as on domestic security for the Chinese government.”
On the plus side, seeing as China already employs 500,000 more online monitors than military personnel, that could equate to hundreds of thousands of potential job opportunities for those seeking to be underpaid, overworked online censors.