According to a study carried out by comScore, the European region recorded its largest ever Internet audience in September with a 5-percent year over year growth, reaching 226.7 million unique visitors age 15 or older. Russia had the fastest growing online audience this period, increasing 23 percent to 14.6 million unique visitors, followed by Spain, which grew 18 percent to 14.5 million unique visitors, and Ireland, which grew 16 percent to 1.5 million.
The country with the largest online audience was Germany with 33.2 million unique visitors, followed closely by the U.K. with 32.2 million. Together, they represented 29 percent of the total European online audience. Europe’s third largest online country, France, was also its fourth fastest growing, having enjoyed a 14-percent gain and reaching 27.3 million unique visitors in September.
Netherlands Has Highest Internet Penetration in Europe
Internet adoption was highest in the Netherlands, where 82 percent of the country’s population age 15 or older was online in September. After the Netherlands, adoption rates were highest in the Nordic region, where the Internet was accessed by 73 percent of the total population of Sweden, 72 percent of Denmark and Norway, and 66 percent of the Finnish population.
The Nordic region also produced some of the most active online audiences in all of Europe. On average, Internet users in Sweden viewed more pages than any other European country – 3,844 pages per visitor. The country also spent the second longest average period of time on the Internet in September at 30.1 hours per visitor. Finland’s online audience viewed the second most number of pages, averaging 3,266 pages per visitor.
The U.K. Internet audience spent the most time online at an average of 33.0 hours for the month. It also viewed the highest number of pages outside of the Nordic region, averaging 3,252 pages per visitor per month, slightly ahead of the Netherlands with 3,051.
“Many countries in Europe are still demonstrating robust growth in Internet usage,” said Bob Ivins, comScore EVP of International Markets. “And given the relatively low Internet penetration in several major European countries, there is plenty of upside in the European market. Russia, with only 12 percent of its population online, appears poised for substantial growth.”