Extrapolations

100% Internet Penetration


ASK: Forecasts for global 100% internet users?

FINDINGS:

eMarketer publishes a ~5-year forecast of internet penetration every year. It’s most recent publicly accessible forecast showed a downward revision from the previous year’s forecast.

As of June 2016
2014 41.1%
2015 44.3%
2016 46.8%
2017 49.0%
2018 51.1%
2019 53.0%
2020 54.6%

src: eMarketer, June 2016

Revised, as of April 2017
2016 44.6%
2017 46.8%
2018 48.8%
2019 50.6%
2020 52.2%
2021 53.6%

src: eMarketer, April 2017

This is the only significant forecast I’ve found for this indicator.

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The International Telecommunications Union tracks internet users as a percentage of the global population. Historic data is available back to the mid 1990s.

I’ve added a trendline projection, which suggests ~2030 as a possible saturation date.

global-internet-users-ITU-2017-extrap-2030

However, when eMarketer’s most recent forecast figures are added, the trendline wiggles. The same type of trendline (2nd order polynomial) then delays saturation until 2040.

global-internet-users-ITU-2017-extrap-2030-emktr-2nd-poly

Adjusting the trendline type (to a 5th order polynomial) gives a better R-squared value, and again brings saturation back to ~2030.

global-internet-users-ITU-2017-extrap-2030-emktr-5th-poly

[Black and yellow simplified chart here]

src:
International Telecommunications Union, 2017
“Global ICT developments, 2001-2017*” [XLS file]

Here’s a tidy chart, showing data points, of basically the same data (1997-2017) aggregated at Wikipedia, with separate lines for global, developed world, and developing world:

src: Wikipedia citing Internet Telecommunications Union

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Newsweek projection of when the number of active Facebook users will equal the current (2017) population of the world (7.6B) — 2048

facebook-growth-prediction-forecast-users

Newsweek’s fine print: The forecast has been calculated only using the annual figures provided by Facebook’s reports since 2004, and does not take into consideration technological progress or demographic changes.

CC’s NOTE: In 2048, the UN medium fertility variant projection for world population is 9.7 billion. At 7.6 billion users, that would be about 78% of the projected 2048 population. That would be a big jump from the 26% of global population FB users accounted for in 2017, but still not literally everyone.

src:
Newsweek, May 2017
“How Long Until Facebook Takes Over The World?”