The Korea Herald


Korea No. 1 worldwide in smartphone ownership, internet penetration

By Sohn Ji-young

Published : June 24, 2018 - 15:24

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South Korea ranks No. 1 worldwide in terms of smartphone ownership and internet usage, as nine in 10 Korean adults use the internet and own a smartphone, according to a new report released this month by the US-based Pew Research Center.

The research center conducted a survey on 40,448 respondents in 37 countries from Feb. 16 to May 8, 2017, on their internet and social media usage patterns as well as smartphone ownership.

And in the survey, South Korea recorded the highest smartphone ownership rate of 94 percent. 

In second place in terms of smartphone ownership was Israel (83 percent), followed by Australia (82 percent); Sweden, the Netherlands and Lebanon (each 80 percent); Spain (79 percent); the US (77 percent); Jordan (76 percent); and Chile, the UK and Germany (each 72 percent).

Korea was also found to be the most wired country in the world. It saw the highest internet penetration rate of 96 percent — deduced by the number of adults who use the internet at least occasionally or report owning a smartphone.

“South Korea stands out as the most heavily connected society, with 96 percent of adults reporting internet use,” Pew Research Center said.

Ranked second in internet penetration rates were the Netherlands and Australia (each 93 percent); Sweden (92 percent); Canada (91 percent); the US (89 percent); the UK and Israel (each 88 percent); and France, Germany and Spain (each 87 percent).

In comparison, Korea’s social networking site usage rate was relatively lower. It ranked third with a rate of 69 percent, together with the US and Australia. In first place and second place were Jordan (75 percent) Lebanon (72 percent), respectively.

By Sohn Ji-young (