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5 countries with the biggest growth in internet penetration in 2023

When businesses think about expanding internationally, they tend to focus on countries such as the US, the UK, Germany and Japan. These markets are already very mature, wealthy and have very high levels of internet penetration. It can be easy to only focus on this kind of market, but by doing that, you could be missing out on a whole raft of opportunities from emerging markets where economic growth and internet penetration are rising fast! In these emerging markets, the opportunities for growth and access to new netizens hungry for content, products and services is high. The infographic below lists the five countries which saw the biggest growth in internet penetration in the last year (2022 versus 2023). Do any of these countries surprise you?

Which countries saw the biggest growth in internet penetration in 2023?

The recently-published Webcertain search and social report 2023 looked at 57 countries around the world. Out of these 57 countries, the five which saw the biggest growth in internet penetration in 2023 are listed below. These rankings were calculated by comparing countries’ internet penetration rates in 2022 and 2023, and looking for the largest differences. The top five growth markets were:

  1. Poland: Internet penetration rose from 78.7% in 2022, to 92.0% in 2023 (up 13.3%).
  2. Israel: Internet penetration rose from 79.6% in 2022, to 89.6% in 2023 (up 10%).
  3. Colombia: Internet penetration rose from 73.8% in 2022, to 83.7% in 2023 (up 9.9%).
  4. Vietnam: Internet penetration rose from 76.7% in 2022, to 85.9% in 2023 (up 9.2%).
  5. Portugal: Internet penetration rose from 78.6% in 2022, to 87.5% in 2023 (up 8.9%).

Why is internet penetration growth relevant to global marketers?

Internet penetration growth rates can be a relevant factor to take into account when you are deciding upon your international business expansion strategy. It is important to note that size is not everything – and looking solely at numbers of internet users should not be the only thing you consider when deciding which countries to target. But it can be part of it.

High levels of growth in terms of internet penetration rates are certainly a good indicator of opportunity and highlight countries which have a raft of new, enthusiastic web users who might be in the market for your products or services.

Furthermore, compared to their more developed counterparts, these developing markets are likely to have:

  • Less competition
  • Lower expectations
  • Decreased costs
  • Less noise for you to cut through

Developing markets are often overlooked and underserved by global brands, meaning that by investing in them early, you have the chance to reap bigger rewards as they grow and mature.

So, perhaps it is worth keeping an eye on the five fastest growing markets listed above!

Want to learn more?

Were you aware of which countries saw the biggest growth in internet penetration in 2023? It goes to show the importance of relying on data, rather than assumptions, when deciding which countries your business may want to consider expanding into. To learn more fascinating facts and stats about how digital marketing works in 57 different countries, check out the Webcertain search and social report 2023 by clicking the button below!

Data sources

The statistics quoted in this blog post come from the Webcertain search and social report 2023 and 2022 editions, which quote data from United Nations Population Fund and Internet World Stats.

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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

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