World Language Statistical Facts

"There are approximately 172 million English speakers and 163 million non-English speakers online" (Global Reach)

"50.4% of Web Users speak a native language other than English" (Global Reach)

"Web users are up to four times more likely to purchase from a site that communicates in the customer's language" (

"Site stickiness is doubled when a website is translated - visitors stay for twice as long" (Forrester Research)

"Almost one-third of websites are presented in a language other than English" (Messaging Online)

"37 million Americans do not speak English at home" (US Department of Health)

"Over 100 million people access the Internet in a language other than English" (Global Reach)

"By 2004, 50% of all-online sales are expected to occur outside the US" (Forrester Research)

The World

Messaging Online finds that there are now, for the first time ever, more email accounts outside the US than within it. The total number of electronic mailboxes in the world at the end of last year (2000) was a staggering 891.1 million, up 67 percent from 1999. Over 451 million of the total for 2000 were outside the US.

Global Reach has found that 43% of web users do not speak English at all.

Jupiter Media Metrix reveals that Europe alone will account for over 40% of the world's Internet users by the end of this year (2001).

91% of Fortune 500 and Forbes international 800 companies cannot respond correctly to a foreign language email (The WorldLingo Quarterly Email Survey - April 2001).


According to GfK, there are currently 15.9 million people online in Germany. The number of Internet users increased by more than 50 percent over the last six months. (Feb. 2000)

Datamonitor reports, consumer spending at German sites reached USD 350 million (1999) and is expected to reach USD1.3 billion by 2001 and USD 1.9 billion by 2002.


France will represent the third-largest Internet economy in Europe. More than 9 million new Internet users went online in the UK, Germany, and France, according to a survey published by the NOP Research Group. The French market is showing the fastest growth rates of adoption, with 47 percent market growth in the last year.


According to Between ICT Brokers, there are 10 million people online in Italy. (Apr. 2000)

Portuguese and Spanish

Consumer electronic commerce will see explosive growth in Latin America, Gartner predicts. Competitors need to prepare now for this e-commerce tidal wave, and one aspect of market readiness is developing offerings in the local languages. Gartner research states that "Content in native languages will increase in importance as Internet use penetrates deeper into the lower-tier socioeconomic groups in Latin America".

Russian Agency reports that there are 5.4 million adults over the age of 18 using the Russian Internet. For more information on Russian Internet use go to


There are now 19.4 million Japanese using the Internet, according to a new report from Access Media International. This figure represents a 128.8 percent increase on last year's figure. There are now over 20 percent of Japanese homes online.

E-commerce is set to explode in Japan, from about $4 billion in 1999 to $693 billion in 2003, according to a recent report from Andersen Consulting and Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). The study reports that business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce in Japan skyrocketed to $3.2 billion in 1999, a 420 percent increase from the previous year's $610 million. MITI and Andersen Consulting expect this expansion to continue until B2B e-commerce reaches $651 billion in 2003.


The Korean Herald reports, a survey conducted by private research firm "Research and Research" last October showed that the number of Internet users has reached 9.43 million in Korea (Jan. 2000).


The eAsia report found that China's active Internet user base will grow from 2.5 million in 1999, to 21 million by 2003, an increase of 750 percent. China and India will outpace Japan in Internet growth in the near future, according to a report by eMarketer.

More Language Articles

What Global Language?
Author: Barbara Wallraff
Synopis: Explores the early history of English dominance on the Internet and the new emerging growth of Non-English websites.

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