16 May Email Usage by Geography
Although email is the most widely used Internet function across the planet, not every region utilizes it in the same way. Let’s start by considering the global distribution of email users. Almost half of all email users are located in the Asia Pacific, which makes sense considering that it’s the most densely populated region in the world. Next comes Europe, containing around 22% of worldwide email users, followed by North America at 14% and the rest of the world at 14%. These numbers may not hold firm for long though; in the past year alone the number of web-based email users in Europe increased by an astounding 14%, topping 276 million.
When looking at the number of users who access their email via smartphone, however, the global breakdown is much different. A 2011 study showed that the US and the UK boast the highest number of mobile email users with 75% and 68% respectively, while China and India, the Asia Pacific region’s most populous countries, come in at 4th and 10th place (58% in China and a mere 17% in India). Projections show that these figures may level out in the coming years though, as more than 78% of Internet users worldwide are expected to access email via a mobile device by 2017.
In addition to the different ways that email is accessed around the globe, how users manage their email also varies depending on region. A group at IBM research recently analyzed email data from 29 different countries and found that European users have a tendency to file more of their e-mail in folders, while Asian users keep most of their email in their inbox. Despite these geographic differences, one thing is certain: all over the world, the popularity of email just keeps on growing. Even developing regions like rural Africa are seeing more and more active email accounts by the day. No matter where you’re from or how you use it, email is the most versatile communication tool you’ve got.