IDC Predicts Nearly 1 Billion Internet Users Will Fuel More Than $5 Trillion in Internet Commerce by 2005

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 23, 2001 – Internet commerce is on the rise – an explosive rise. According to IDC, nearly 1 billion people, about 15% of the world’s population, will be using the Internet by 2005. Their use will fuel more than $5 trillion in Internet commerce, a staggering 70% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from Internet spending of $354 billion in 2000.


"With the dot-com stock crash and U.S. economic doldrums so much in the news, it’s easy to lose sight of the explosive growth in Internet usage and commerce taking place below the surface," said John Gantz, IDC’s Chief Research Officer. "More than 100 million new users come onto the Web every year, and corporate volume purchasing over the Web is just getting cranked up. Add to that the proliferation of mobile phones and other Internet access devices that will allow people to access the Internet anytime, anywhere, and you have a scenario for explosive growth."

According to IDC, Internet use will be widespread, not dominated by a single region. In 2000, the United States accounted for 34% of Internet users, with Europe at 29%, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) at 16%, Japan at 10%, and rest of world (ROW) at 11%. However, growth in Internet use in Asia/Pacific and ROW – especially in Latin American countries – will quickly outpace growth in more developed countries such as the United States, Canada, and major European nations. By 2005, the balance of Internet users will completely shift, with Asia/Pacific rivaling Europe for the most Internet users while the United States slips to third place.

Today, the United States accounts for just under half (46%) of total ecommerce. By 2005, however, its share will dip to 36%. "The U.S. share in 2005 is actually more in line with its position in the offline economy, representing the shift in ecommerce from an emerging market to a more mainstream industry," said Carol Glasheen, vice president of IDC’s Global Market Models and Demand-Side Research program. Growth in ecommerce in all regions will be healthy, but Asia/Pacific and Western Europe will grow the fastest between 2000 and 2005.

IDC’s recently published report The Global Market Forecast for Internet Usage and Commerce: Based on Internet Commerce Market Model, Version 7.1 (IDC #B24538) analyzes the ecommerce industry. Forecasts are provided for the number of users accessing the Internet, the number of buyers, and the amount of ecommerce that will be conducted through 2005. These forecasts cover the following regions: the United States, Western Europe, Asia/Pacific, Japan, and ROW. Usage forecasts are also segmented by large or medium-sized business, small business, and home, government, education, and mobile users. To purchase this report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4389, or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 700 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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