Chinese internet population rapidly approaching that of English

Monday, November 09, 2009

Internetworldstats.com has updated their table of languages on the internet with new numbers from the end of September,and Chinese is continuing to increase at a much more rapid rate than other languages. Here are the current numbers for the top six:

Language
Internet Users
Growth
( 2000 - 2009 )

Internet Users
% of Total

English
478,442,379
237.0 %
27.6 %
Chinese
383,650,713
1,087.7 %
22.1 %
Spanish
136,524,063
650.9 %
7.9 %
Japanese
95,979,000
103.9 %
5.5 %
French
78,972,116
547.4 %
4.6 %
Portuguese
73,052,600
864.3 %
4.2 %

Now English only has a 5.5% advantage compared to Chinese. Compare this to numbers available at the beginning of this year,when English was up by 10.5%.

One thing to note though is that these numbers don't include usage as a secondary language, so a Chinese or Japanese or German other user writing content in English doesn't get included here (it would be far too complex to try to ascertain the actual content produced in a language instead of just going with simple a simple L1 user count). This L2 usage is something that English has that most other languages don't, so even when English begins to drop below Chinese on this chart it won't signify that there is more Chinese content online, just that the number of people with an internet connection and Chinese as their first language surpasses that for English.

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