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UK Online Population Forecast 2023-28

The number of internet users in the United Kingdom stood at 63.0 million in  2023, accounting for an internet penetration rate of 90.7% of the total population.

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The number of internet users in the United Kingdom stood at 63.0 million in  2023, accounting for an internet penetration rate of 90.7% of the total population of 67.6 million. This number is projected to grow by 0.5% to reach 63.0 million by 2028, with the online penetration rate expected to be 91.7% of the population by then.

Internet connectivity speeds have been steadily improving, with the median mobile internet connection speed via cellular networks reaching 48.43 Mbps and the median fixed internet connection speed hitting 92.10 Mbps in early 2024. These speeds saw increases of 5.2% and 25.8% respectively compared to the previous year.

The use of social media is widespread in the UK, with 56.20 million active social media user identities recorded in January 2024, equivalent to 82.8% of the total population. However, this number decreased by 1.6% from early 2023. Facebook emerged as the dominant social media platform, with 37.10 million users (54.7% of the population), followed by YouTube with 56.20 million users (82.8% of the population), Instagram with 33.10 million users (48.8% of the population), and TikTok with 22.71 million users aged 18 and above (42.2% of the adult population).

E-commerce activities are also prevalent, with 91% of internet users visiting online stores, and 84% performing product searches, according to global statistics. In the UK, the number of cellular mobile connections stood at 88.86 million at the start of 2024, equivalent to 131.0% of the total population, indicating that many individuals have multiple mobile connections.

In terms of internet usage patterns, the average user in the UK spends 6 hours and 2 minutes online daily, with mobile devices accounting for 48.9% of the total daily internet time. The most common online activities globally include watching videos (90% of internet users), streaming music (70%), watching vlogs (51%), listening to radio (47%), and tuning into podcasts (39%).

The demographic profile of internet users in the UK shows that the median age is 40.2 years, with the largest age group being those aged 65 and above (19.6%), followed by those aged 55-64 (13.0%), 25-34 (13.2%), and 35-44 (13.1%). Additionally, 84.8% of the UK's population lives in urban areas, while 15.2% resides in rural areas.

Overall, the data paints a picture of a highly connected and digitally engaged population in the UK, with widespread adoption of internet services, social media platforms, and e-commerce activities, as well as continuously improving connectivity speeds.


Online population. Total number of individuals or users who have access to the internet and regularly use it for various purposes, such as communication, information gathering, entertainment, shopping, and more (at least once in a month)
Additional Notes
Release Date: April 2024
Region: UK
Time Period: 2009 to 2028
Author: Datum Research Team
Source: Datum Global Online Population Forecast 2023-28
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