eMarketer: Web User Concentration in Canada Mimics Population Spread

Penetration rates similar throughout the country, but more people in Ontario leads to a concentration of internet users there

APRIL 16, 2012 – eMarketer estimates that Canada’s online population hit 26 million in 2011 and will add another 400,000 users in 2012. Growth is slowed by the already high penetration rate, which will reach 77% this year.

According to comScore’s “2012 Canada Digital Future in Focus” report, during Q4 2011, 38% of internet users in the country were located in the province of Ontario, followed by Quebec (24%) and the combined prairie provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan (18%).

Internet Users in Canada, by Region, Q4 2011 (% of total)

Combining comScore’s data with eMarketer’s estimates reveals that Ontario had approximately 10 million internet users at the end of 2011.

In February 2012, Statistics Canada listed Ontario as the largest province in the country, with nearly 12.9 million residents, so it isn’t surprising that it accounts for the largest portion of internet users in the country. In a report from October 2011, the firm found that the region had an internet penetration of 81% in 2010, behind British Columbia (86%) and Alberta (84%), but ahead of Quebec (76%).

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