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Internet penetration over time

Data from the World Data Bank shows the percentage of internet users in 256 countries sourced from International Telecommunication Union ( ITU ) World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database. The countries with the highest internet penetration have over 99% of their population using the internet. Among the 5 countries leading on this count, 4 belong to the Arab League.

The bottom 5 countries in terms of internet users' population are all from the African continent. It is noteworthy that in the last ~9 years, these countries had very little improvement in terms of internet access to wider population.

Countries with the highest increase in the internet penetration are Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Cuba. The most improved country is Iraq which has moved up 139 places since 2011 to 83 in 2020. Saudi Arabia is 15th on the list (95% internet penetration), showing remarkable improvement since 2011 but still behind some of the other GCC countries. Indeed, access to the internet has contributed to a change in consumption and investment patterns. At Algorithm Research we analysed all the Google searches made between 2015- May 2021 for Saudi Arabia and Turkey to identify emerging trends in consumption and investment patterns of consumers. Access those reports here.

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