On the map, the size of each country is based on the absolute number of its internet users, while keeping the countries’ and continents’ shapes close to their true shape. It also shows the percentage of the population that has internet access, with darker shades denoting the higher rates of internet access among the population.
This is an update of a similar visualisation in 2011, but this latest version uses 2013 data on internet users and population obtained from the World Bank. The World Bank has tracked the number of internet users per country since the 1990s as part of its Worldwide Governance Indicators project.
The data is visualized using a hexagonal cartogram, which distorts the size of the country in order to convey the information. Each small hexagon accounts for about half a million people online. Countries with fewer internet users do not show up in the cartogram. The shading of each country in the cartogram represents the share of the population that has internet access (the so-called internet penetration)
The map identifies that Asia has 1.24 billion users, so this is the continent where nearly half (46%) of the world’s internet users live. That number is roughly equal to the number of internet users in Europe, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, and North America combined.