World Wide Web User Profiles by Geographic Region
World Wide Web User Profiles by Geographic Region
by Erik Granered
From the Non-USA Dataset of GVU's 3rd WWW User Survey
The following material may be freely copied and reproduced, subject
to some conditions
Source: WWW User Profiles by Geographic Region by Erik Granered
Sincere thanks are extended to Jim Pitkow of the GVU WWW Survey
team for compiling and making the Non-USA dataset available to
me. Without his quick and competent responses to my e-mail inquiries,
this study would never have taken place.
This is a long document. You may jump to topics by
selecting from this list of contents:
Response Profile by Geographic Region
Summary of Findings
[Gender] [Marital Status]
[Income] [Computer Hours at Work]
[Internet Access Provider] [Number of Computers]
[Computer Fun Hours] [Internet Experience]
[Share Machine] [Browser]
GVU's 3rd WWW User Survey
With just over 13,000 responses, GVU's WWW User survey is by far
the largest electronic survey ever. For analysis of the complete
dataset please refer to these two sites:
1. <http://www.cc.gatech.edu/gvu/user_surveys/> (The GVU
Center at Georgia Tech) - please see "Additional Resources"
for a true link.
2. <http://www.umich.edu/~sgupta/hermes/> (the Hermes Project)
-- please see "Additional Resources"
for a true link.
This analysis is concerned with the responses from outside the
United States. There were 2,521 non-US responses, 19 percent of
the total, representing 80 different countries.
The tab-delineated, ascii text dataset of non-US respondents to
the GVU 3rd WWW User Survey was downloaded from the GVU FTP site
at <ftp.gatech.cc.edu>. The data was loaded on a PC and
processed in Microsoft Excel 5.0, Microsoft Access 2.0, and Microsoft
Word For Windows 6.0. The geographic subsets were created in Microsoft
Access. The queries for each individual question were conducted
in Access using Query Wizard's "find duplicates" function.
The results of these queries were then moved to Excel for additional
analysis and graphics work. The final graphs were exported to
Word for Windows, where the text was added.
The GVU Survey home page elaborates on two sets of limitations,
self-selection and non-probabilistic sampling. The language barrier
must be considered a contributing factor to self-selection process.
The high number of responses from other English-speaking countries
such as Australia (236) and Canada (692) may not only indicate
that these countries have a high degree of connectivity, but that
language in fact facilitated the decision to take the survey.
The small number of responses from regions such as Latin America
and the Middle East does not necessarily indicate that these responses
are not representative samples of World Wide Web users in these
areas as Internet connectivity is not as advanced there as in
1. The Non-USA Dataset
There were a total of 2,521 responses to GVU's 3rd WWW User Survey
from outside the United States. These responses were from 80 different
countries. The average age of the respondents was 32.
There were 147 responses from Asia. These responses came from
Hong Kong (21), India (3), Japan (27), Malaysia (4), Singapore
(59), South Korea (10), Taiwan (5), Thailand (2) and other (12).
The average age of the respondents was 31.
There were 692 responses from Canada, representing every Canadian
province. The average age of the respondents was 35.
There were 1,273 responses from Europe, by far the largest number
of responses outside the United States. These responses came from
Austria (28), Belgium (35), Croatia (35), Czech Republic (2),
Denmark (29), Estonia (2), Finland (66), France (60), Germany
(111), Greece (3), Iceland (14), Ireland (20), Italy (49), Netherlands
(88), Norway (51), Poland (4), Portugal (5), Russia (4), Spain
(10), Sweden (85), Switzerland (60), United Kingdom (495), other
(15). It is noteworthy to point out that the responses from the
United Kingdom made up 39 percent of the European dataset, and
3.8 percent of the total, fourth after California, New York and
Texas. The average age of the European respondents was 31.
There were only 53 responses from Latin America. Fifty percent
of these responses were from Mexico (24), followed by Brazil (9),
Chile (5), Colombia (3), Costa Rica (3), and other(4). The average
age was 30, the lowest of all the geographic regions.
There were only 30 responses from the Middle East, coming from
Israel (27) and Kuwait (2), and other (1). The average age of
these respondents was 35.
Oceania includes Australia (236), New Zealand (43) and other (17),
giving a total of 269 respondents. The average age was 35.
8. Responses from South Africa and Antarctica were not handled
in this study.
- As a group, non-US World Wide Web users are male, highly educated,
with high incomes and with plenty of computer experience. Many
are married and have children. This sophistication probably reflects
the relatively high entry barriers that still exist in becoming
familiar with the Internet. Commercial vendors such as America
Online and CompuServe have lowered these entry barriers, but non-US
respondents do not yet use these commercial services, be it for
reasons of access or cost.
- Non-US World Wide Web users are predominantly white. The only
substantial non-white communities could be found in Latin America
(71 percent Spanish) and Asia (66 percent Asian). In both these
regions, the percentage of white respondents was surprisingly
large at about 28 percent.
- The commercial Internet user-revolution that is taking place
in the US is reflected among non-US World Wide Web Users as well.
While educators, students and computer professionals still dominate,
there are substantial groups of "professionals, managers
and other" in all of the geographic regions.
- Most respondents indicate that their willingness to pay for
access to World Wide Web sites and databases would depend on cost
and quality. This shows that they are at least open-minded to
the possibility of paying if the information is good and reasonably
priced. This survey did not contain any information regarding
people's willingness to use a credit card to pay for the information.
- Most respondents do not use their computers as a recreational
tool. While most users do play with their computers to some extent,
few do so more than 10 hours per week.
- There is a relationship between regional connectivity and
Internet experience within each region. For example, Europeans
and Australians have more Internet experience than Latin Americans
- Perhaps the most surprising result of this survey is the extent
to which Mozilla dominates as a Browser among non-US World Wide
Web users. With all other browsers represented in most of the
regions, none of them get even close to Mozilla, which enjoys
a market share of 85 percent overall.
Survey Question: What is your gender?
- More than 90 percent of non-US WWW users are male
- The largest number of women can be found in Canada (12%),
Asia (11%) and Oceania (11%)
- Europe has the strongest male domination with 92 percent
- Only 7 percent of Europeans indicated their gender as female
Survey question: What is your current marital status?
- 40 percent of Non-US WWW users are married
- The percentage of single or divorced non-US WWW users is 57
- The largest number of singles can be found in Latin America
at 65 percent
- The largest number of married users are in Canada and the
Middle East, both at 49 percent
- Canada has the largest number of divorced respondents (8%)
- Only 34 percent of European WWW users are married
- Only 35 percent of Latin American WWW users are married
Survey Question: How many people in your household are dependent
- 66 percent of non-US WWW users have
- 70 percent of European respondents reported having no dependents
- 53 percent of Middle Eastern respondents reported having two
or more dependents
- The responses from Asia, Canada and Oceania were very similar,
with about 60 percent reporting no dependents and 40 percent reporting
two or more dependents
Survey Question: What is your race/ethnic origin?
- The Non-US WWW community is largely white (84%)
- The largest non-white communities can be found in Asia, where
66 percent reported being Asian, and Latin America, where 71 percent
reported being Hispanic
- 94 percent of European WWW users are white
- There are no black user communities in any of the geographic
- A surprisingly large percentage of Asian WWW users reported
being white (28%)
- The large percentage of Middle Eastern responses reporting
other or not_say (31%) can be attributed to the survey not having
Arab or Jewish response areas
Survey Question: Please indicate the highest level of education
- Over 90 percent of the non-US WWW community is college educated
- Close to 40 percent has a masters degree or higher
- The largest percentage of Doctoral Degrees can be found in
the Middle East (18%) and Europe (14%)
- Professional training is more common in Latin America (16%)
and in Oceania (14%)
- While still high, the educational level in Latin America is
slightly lower than in other regions, with 32 percent reporting
a masters degree or higher
Survey Question: Which of the following categories best describe
your primary occupation?
- The largest occupational segments are education and computers
- 33 percent of non-US WWW users are in the computer field
- 52 percent of Middle Eastern respondents reported being in
the computer field
- The largest educational/student community is in Latin America
- About 30 percent of respondents reported being in management
or a professional occupation
Survey Question: Please indicate your current household income
in U.S. dollars.
- 10 percent of non-US WWW users make over $100,000 per year
- 33 percent make between $50,000 and $100,000 per year
- over 40 percent make over $50,000 per year
- 50 percent of Latin American respondents make less than $25,000
- 20 percent of Asian WWW users make over $100,000 per year
- European respondents reported the most equitable distribution
of income with about 30 percent in each (<25, 25-50, 50-100)
Survey Question: How many hours per week do you use your
computer for work?
- There is a wide variety in the number of computer work-hours
spent within all the geographic regions
- About half of the non-US WWW users spend less than 30 hours
on their computers at work
- the other half spends more than 30 hours
- 70 percent of European, Latin American and Middle Eastern
respondents spend more than 20 hours on their computers
- 67 percent of Asian respondents spend more than 30 hours on
their computers at work
Survey Question: What is the nature of your primary Internet
- Educational institutions are the largest access providers
in most regions; Latin America (61%), Oceania (53%), Europe (46%)
- Local access providers are the major access providers in the
Middle East (53%), Canada (49%) and in Asia (38%)
- The region with the highest percentage of commercial access
was Asia with 23 percent
- Government, online services and organizational providers combined
made up about 10 percent of access providers in all regions
- Local access providers are more rare in Oceania (24%), Latin
America (19%) and Europe (29%)
- Commercial access in Asia is the largest with 23 percent
Survey Question: How many personal computers do you own?
- About 90 percent of non-US WWW users own at least one computer
- 40 percent overall own two or more computers
- 46 percent of Asian and Latin American WWW users own two or
- 15 percent of Asian respondents reported having three computers
- 14 percent of WWW users in Europe and Oceania do not own a
- 11 percent of Latin American respondents do not own a computer
Survey Question: Would you be willing to pay for information
from WWW sites/databases?
- 23 percent or non-US WWW users said they would not be willing
to pay for access to Web-based information
- 65 percent responded that it would depend on both cost and
- 3 percent of respondents answered that they would be willing
- No respondents in either the Middle East or Latin America
answered "yes" to this question
- Respondents in the Middle East showed the least resistance
to the idea of paying for information with only 10 percent answering
Survey Question: How many hours per week do you use your
computer for fun/play?
Survey Question: How many years have you been on the Internet
(including email, gopher, ftp, etc.)?
- 43 percent of non-US WWW users have spent less than a year
on the Internet
- 41 percent have spent more than 4 years on the Internet
- Asian users have the least Internet experience, with nearly
70 percent reporting less than 3 years
- Middle Eastern Internet users have the most experience, with
50 percent having more than 4 years experience
- Internet users in Europe and Oceania are comparatively more
experiences with 61 percent of Europeans and 57 percent of users
in Oceania having more than a year of experience
Survey Question: Are you the primary/sole user of the machine
you are currently using?
- 85 percent of Web users outside the United States use Mozilla (Netscape)
as their main browser
- Mosaic is a distant second with about 5 percent of the non-US
- Mozilla is particularly dominant in the Middle East with 91
- Canada has the least number of Mozilla users with 81 percent