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This article was published on December 2, 2009

    2.9% of the Internet are Arabs

    2.9% of the Internet are Arabs
    Fawzi Rahal
    Story by

    Fawzi Rahal

    Based in Dubai, Fawzi Rahal is the Editor of The Next Web Middle East and Regional Communications Director at G2. Follow him via Twitter. Yo Based in Dubai, Fawzi Rahal is the Editor of The Next Web Middle East and Regional Communications Director at G2. Follow him via Twitter. You can reach Fawzi at [email protected].

    arabicArabs online have witnessed a whopping 2,000% increase in population over the past 9 years rendering Arabic as the 8th top language used on the web at 2.9%.

    Internet World Stats has published these results also showing that only 17.3% of Arabic speakers have internet access, the lowest amongst the top 10. This means that there’s a remarkable growth opportunity for content creation catered towards Arabs.

    The stats, however, do not show what the users’ preferred language is. Arabic speakers might prefer reading content in English or French. In fact, while Arabic speakers are comfortable reading a political news article in Arabic, they might check the technical specs of a mobile phone in English.

    The study was conducted based on an exclusive one-language per user approach. In other words, English speaking Arabs would not count as English users.

    What the stats do confirm is that if you were to launch a campaign talking to all Arabs, you might want to keep your print ads, radio and TV commercials running alongside.

    Enough analysis, let’s look at the figures.

    Top Ten Languages on the Internet (in millions of users)

    languages 2009

    Top Ten Languages Used in the Web (Number of Internet Users by Language)

    TOP TEN LANGUAGES
    IN THE INTERNET
    Internet Users
    by Language
    Internet
    Penetration
    by Language
    Growth in Internet
    ( 2000 – 2009 )
    Internet Users
    % of Total
    World Population for this Language
    (2009 Estimate)
    English478,442,37937.9 %237.0 %27.6 %1,263,830,976
    Chinese383,650,71327.9 %1,087.7 %22.1 %1,373,859,774
    Spanish136,524,06333.2 %650.9 %7.9 %411,631,985
    Japanese95,979,00075.5 %103.9 %5.5 %127,078,679
    French78,972,11618.6 %547.4 %4.6 %425,622,855
    Portuguese73,052,60029.5 %864.3 %4.2 %247,223,493
    German64,593,53567.0 %133.2 %3.7 %96,389,702
    Arabic50,422,30017.3 %1,907.9 %2.9 %291,798,743
    Russian45,250,00032.3 %1,359.7 %2.6 %140,041,247
    Korean37,475,80052.7 %96.8 %2.2 %71,174,317
    TOP 10 LANGUAGES1,444,362,50632.5 %363.5 %83.3 %4,448,651,771
    Rest of the
    Languages
    289,631,23512.5 %487.1 %16.7 %2,319,153,437
    WORLD TOTAL1,733,993,74125.6 %380.3 %100.0 %6,767,805,208

    Additional details are available via Internet World Stats.