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The Drum

Almost half world's population will have web access by 2018, says eMarketer

Nearly half of the world's population will have web access by 2018

Three billion people will have access to the internet by 2018, marking the point where the web truly becomes "worldwide", according to projections from eMarketer.

The firm found that the internet’s user base will rise by 6.2 per cent to 42.4 per cent of the entire world's population by 2015.

By 2018, this will rise to 42.4 per cent with around 3.6 billion people able to access the internet at least once a month.

Additional data suggested that this year Brazil will overtake Japan as the country with the fourth largest internet population.

By 2016, India is expected to overtake the US as the second largest web user.

Finally, in first place, China will have 750,000 people online by 2018.

Monica Peart, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer, said: “Inexpensive mobile phones and mobile broadband connections are driving internet access and usage in countries where fixed internet has been out of reach for consumers, whether that's due to lack of infrastructure or affordability.

“While highly developed nations are nearly saturated in terms of internet users, there's significant room for growth in emerging markets; for example, India and Indonesia will each see double-digit growth in each year between now and 2018.”

Accompanying the growth of web users is the ad expenditure devoted to the platform. Internet ad spend in the UK rose again in the second quarter of 2014 to £1.7bn according to AA/Warc.