Internet 2009 in numbers

What happened with the Internet in 2009?

What happened with the Internet in 2009?

How many websites were added? How many emails were sent? How many Internet users were there? This post will answer all of those questions and many more. Prepare for information overload, but in a good way. πŸ˜‰

We have used a wide variety of sources from around the Web. A full list of source references is available at the bottom of the post for those interested. We here at Pingdom also did some additional calculations to get even more numbers to show you.


Also check out our Internet 2012 in numbers article!


  • 90 trillion – The number of emails sent on the Internet in 2009.
  • 247 billion – Average number of email messages per day.
  • 1.4 billion – The number of email users worldwide.
  • 100 million – New email users since the year before.
  • 81% – The percentage of emails that were spam.
  • 92% – Peak spam levels late in the year.
  • 24% – Increase in spam since last year.
  • 200 billion – The number of spam emails per day (assuming 81% are spam).


  • 234 million – The number of websites as of December 2009.
  • 47 million – Added websites in 2009.

Web servers

  • 13.9% – The growth of Apache websites in 2009.
  • -22.1% – The growth of IIS websites in 2009.
  • 35.0% – The growth of Google GFE websites in 2009.
  • 384.4% – The growth of Nginx websites in 2009.
  • -72.4% – The growth of Lighttpd websites in 2009.

Web server market share

Domain names

  • 81.8 million – .COM domain names at the end of 2009.
  • 12.3 million – .NET domain names at the end of 2009.
  • 7.8 million – .ORG domain names at the end of 2009.
  • 76.3 million – The number of country code top-level domains (e.g. .CN, .UK, .DE, etc.).
  • 187 million – The number of domain names across all top-level domains (October 2009).
  • 8% – The increase in domain names since the year before.

Internet users

  • 1.73 billion – Internet users worldwide (September 2009).
  • 18% – Increase in Internet users since the previous year.
  • 738,257,230 – Internet users in Asia.
  • 418,029,796 – Internet users in Europe.
  • 252,908,000 – Internet users in North America.
  • 179,031,479 – Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean.
  • 67,371,700 – Internet users in Africa.
  • 57,425,046 – Internet users in the Middle East.
  • 20,970,490 – Internet users in Oceania / Australia.

Internet users by region

Social media

  • 126 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
  • 84% – Percent of social network sites with more women than men.
  • 27.3 million – Number of tweets on Twitter per day (November, 2009)
  • 57% – Percentage of Twitter’s user base located in the United States.
  • 4.25 million – People following @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher, Twitter’s most followed user).
  • 350 million – People on Facebook.
  • 50% – Percentage of Facebook users that log in every day.
  • 500,000 – The number of active Facebook applications.


  • 4 billion – Photos hosted by Flickr (October 2009).
  • 2.5 billion – Photos uploaded each month to Facebook.
  • 30 billion – At the current rate, the number of photos uploaded to Facebook per year.


  • 1 billion – The total number of videos YouTube serves in one day.
  • 12.2 billion – Videos viewed per month on YouTube in the US (November 2009).
  • 924 million – Videos viewed per month on Hulu in the US (November 2009).
  • 182 – The number of online videos the average Internet user watches in a month (USA).
  • 82% – Percentage of Internet users that view videos online (USA).
  • 39.4% – YouTube online video market share (USA).
  • 81.9% – Percentage of embedded videos on blogs that are YouTube videos.

Web browsers

Web browser market share

Malicious software

  • 148,000 – New zombie computers created per day (used in botnets for sending spam, etc.)
  • 2.6 million – Amount of malicious code threats at the start of 2009 (viruses, trojans, etc.)
  • 921,143 – The number of new malicious code signatures added by Symantec in Q4 2009.

Data sources: Website and web server stats from Netcraft. Domain name stats from Verisign and Internet user stats from Internet World Stats. Web browser stats from Net Applications. Email stats from Radicati Group. Spam stats from McAfee. Malware stats from Symantec (and here) and McAfee. Online video stats from Comscore, Sysomos and YouTube. Photo stats from Flickr and Facebook. Social media stats from BlogPulse, Pingdom (here and here), Twittercounter, Facebook and GigaOm.

More reading:
Internet 2010 in numbers


  1. -22.1% – The growth of IIS websites in 2009.

    Does this mean the market shrank, or it grew 22.1% less while maintaining market share.

    Ditto other servers

    Confusing stats.

    1. @bob e: Not market share. Growth in terms of number of websites hosted. And in the example you give of IIS, negative growth, so 20.1% fewer websites were hosted on IIS (according to the numbers from Netcraft).

  2. By my calculation, the average email user got 34 legitimate e-mails per day.

    247b (including spam) – 200b (spam) = 47b

    47b emails / 1.4b users = 34

    I find that hard to believe.

  3. @Pingdom – re the IIS stats being -22.1%, thats quite bizarre because all of the other stat companies have IIS with increasing growth, no reducing. Quite bizarre.

    On another note, I’ve never heard of Nginx, Lighttpd and whats “Google GFE”? Even more bizarre as I work in the web hosting arena.

    Other than that little mistake (by NetCraft)… this is a great ‘overview’ πŸ™‚

  4. 1.4 billion – The number of email users worldwide.
    1.73 billion – Internet users worldwide (September 2009).

    Who are the ~330 million internet users who don’t have email addresses?

  5. Nice overview!

    Is there also information about digital agenda users?
    What is the most used digital agenda? How many people use a digital agenda?

  6. @GTR: you should take a look on Nginx and lighttpd, both are modern, fast and elegant web servers, used by many really big web sites. Way faster than Apache in a lot of typical scenarios.
    GFE is the name you can see in the ‘Server’ http header sent by Google on a number of their services, like maps or gmail.

    Loved these stats, by the way. Thanks!

  7. Great snapshot! Wow, when you look at those enormous numbers… Kinda takes you back for a moment. It’s amazing to see the number of people who use the Internet in one fashion or another. Thank you for gathering this and sharing!

  8. Great collection of stats; thanks.

    One quibble: it’s 4.25 million Twitter accounts, and not “People” following @aplusk, and I suspect there’s quite a difference between the “accounts” and “people” thanks to spam, bots et al.

  9. “1.4 billion – The number of email users worldwide.”

    Is this the amount of email acc. on the Internet? Or active users? Because I have like 20+ emails..

    ~ Good overview

  10. 234 million websites? 126 million blogs means only 108 million non-blog websites? Sounds low.

    I’m not saying it’s wrong…it probably isn’t, it just surprised me. I thought the number would be higher.

  11. 57% – Twitter’s user base in the US – this is something to think about for brands using twitter for local promotions. (outside the US). would like to see the breakdown for other countries.

  12. Fascinating stats! But, I’m not sure how you’d know “the percentage of emails that were spam”. I’m thinking of all those folks who still wade through stuff and people forced to create filters in their mail client for stuff that slips through their ISP. Sadly, that means the number is probably higher than 81%.

  13. As a marketer, all those stats make me salivate.
    Done correctly, I still believe the Internet is the best marketing game in town, notwithstanding the 4,000,000,000 who don’t have it.
    In my view the Internet of the (near) future encompasses the aggregation of all the marketing channels to some degree.

  14. 62.7% of Internet Explorer is made up of versions 6,7 and 8. Nothing against it but people should be moving to version 8 as soon as possible.

    Nice article by the way.

  15. I am amazed at the stats with all that is going on in today’s techology. If it’s like this in the year 2010, imagine what it’s going to be like in the next 5-10 years. Go technology!!!

  16. would also be interested to see how 2009 compared with 2008 – these are great numbers (and very nice presentation) – but what is the percentage growth over 2008?

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