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1 Web addresses exceed world's population on Fri 31 Jul 2009 - 22:11

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Internet is growing in dimensions every second, so much so that there are more addresses than there are people on Earth, claims the team behind Microsoft's new search engine Bing.

Bing has put the number of web pages at "over 1 trillion", while Google had earlier indexed more than one trillion discreet web addresses.

The current global population stands at more than 6.7 billion, which means that there are about 150 web addresses per person in the world.

And this could mean that if a person spent just one minute reading every website in existence, then he or she would be kept busy for 31,000 years, without any sleep.

"An average person would need six hundred thousand decades of nonstop reading to read through the information," News.com.au quoted Bing as saying.

Mark Higginson, director of analytics for Nielsen Online, said that the global online population had jumped 16 per cent since last year.

"Approximately 1.46 billion people worldwide now use the internet which represents a solid 16 per cent increase from the previous year's estimate (1.26 billion in 2007)," he said.

The largest Internet population belongs to China, with 338 million users online, which is more than there were people in the US.

However InternetWorldStats.com (IWS), a website that combines multiple data sources, has claimed that China's online population is more like 298 million.

"With the rates of India and China still quite low, there is ample room for growth in the coming decade," said Higginson.

But, measuring the online population could be tricky-there are servers, users, per capita numbers, and penetration percentages to evaluate.

And thus it is difficult to find a single figure to represent the world online population.

IWS combined data from the UN's International Telecommunications Union, Nielsen Online, GfK and US Census Bureau, and its latest global figures puts the number of internet users in the world at 1,596,270,108.

And this is just 23.8 per cent of the estimated 6,0706,993,152 people in the world. But it changes every day.

"In terms of the future, we anticipate mobile to contribute significantly to internet usage," said Higginson.

According to IWS, the top 5 countries with the most internet users are:

1 - China (298,000,000 users, or 22.4 percent of their population)

2 - US (227,190,989, or 74.7 percent)

3 - Japan (94,000,000, or 73.8 percent)

4 - India (81,000,000, or 7.1 percent)

5 - Brazil (67,510,400, or 34.4% percent)

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