This map of the world’s Internet usage may shock and surprise you

The Internet is a large, global expanse with billions of people, in fact 2.5 billion people inhabit the Internet. So more than a quarter of our seven billion people on the planet are online. But, as with so many things, Internet usage is not evenly dispersed. How would the world look if countries were as big as their online populations?

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The folks at Information Geographies recently released a new map that reorganizes country sizes by their Internet population. This fascinating map shows a few things one might expect; a bulbous China and United States, for starters. Japan is much larger in size than the reality of the island nation and Australia is a shriveled dollop compared to the real continent. And Africa? It’s much, much smaller. Africans currently make up 7 percent of total Internet users across the planet, according to a Q2 2012 statistic from the Miniwatts Marketing Group.

Information Geographies looked at 2011 numbers to draw its map. South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria have the largest number of Internet users in sub-Saharan Africa, and Egypt has the most users on the continent. These figures are also displayed on the map, with a large Nigeria and significantly larger South Africa and Kenya.

An Atlantic article from October 10 quotes map creators Mark Graham and Stefano De Sabbatag as stating:

“In the last three years, almost all North African countries doubled their population of Internet users, (Algeria being a notable exception). Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, also saw massive growth. However, it remains that over half of sub-Saharan African countries have an Internet penetration of less than 10 percent, and have seen very little growth in recent years.”