Research firm comScore Networks announced yesterday that 747 million people aged 15 and older used the internet worldwide in January 2007.
The figure, which excludes traffic from public computers in places such as internet cafés and access from mobile phones or PDAs, represents a 10 per cent increase on January last year.
Countries with the highest penetration were the US, China and Japan. The UK showed the fifth highest penetration level at just over 30 million users.
Internet audiences in India, the Russian Federation and China showed the greatest increase in penetration over 2006, growing 33 per cent, 21 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
"The importance of the worldwide internet population continues to grow," said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.
"Internet users outside the US now account for 80 per cent of the world's online population, with rapidly developing countries experiencing double-digit growth rates year over year."
The research firm also reported on the top worldwide web properties in January 2007 ranked by unique visitors.
The report also measured the average amount of time users from each country spend online per month. Once again the UK came in fifth, with users spending an average of 31.2 hours online in January.
According to the study, broadband users spend an average 35.6 hours online each month, but narrowband users spend only 7.5 hours online.
Results from all countries showed a similar disparity of time spent online between broadband and narrowband users.
"We have all believed that 'always-on' broadband connections stimulate usage and this study empirically confirms that conclusion," said Ivins.
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