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The popularity of Firefox around the world

FirefoxAlthough the growth of Firefox has stagnated a bit lately due to the increasing competition from rival browsers, it’s still one of the biggest success stories in the history of the Internet and has the second-largest user base of any web browser.

Firefox has a widespread global user base, but we wanted to find out where it is most common, or another way of looking at it: how are the Firefox users distributed?

Luckily for the curious, Mozilla has a page that shows continuously updated download stats for the latest major version of Firefox. This is currently Firefox 3.6, which went live on January 21 this year. All numbers in this article are therefore for Firefox 3.6.

We didn’t just examine where Firefox has the most downloads, we also took some time to calculate the relative popularity of Firefox in these countries. (Because we could.)

Summary

Before we head on to the charts, here is a brief summary of what we found out.

  • Worldwide Firefox 3.6 downloads so far: 126.5 million
  • Countries where Firefox 3.6 has been downloaded more than 1 million times: 26
  • Top 5 countries in terms of downloads: United States, Germany, Poland, Russia and Brazil.
  • Top 5 countries (out of the ones with 1M+ downloads) when you count downloads per Internet user, i.e. “popularity”: Finland, Poland, Romania, Germany and Australia.
  • The United States accounts for 15.7% of all Firefox 3.6 downloads. Germany accounts for 9.2%.

The data was collected this Monday. We thought that was worth mentioning since it’s a moving target as downloads keep ticking.

Top countries in terms of Firefox downloads

It’s important to note that download numbers will not be equal to user numbers (those are not available). That said, the download numbers will give us a very good indication of where Firefox is used the most.

Countries with the most Firefox downloads

As you can see, the United States and Germany are way ahead of the other countries when it comes to downloads. One reason for this is that these countries have very large Internet populations. The United States has 239 million Internet users, and Germany has 65 million. As you will see here below, though, Firefox is much more popular in Germany than it is in the Unites States.

Popularity

If you take the number of Internet users per country into account, you can find out the relative popularity of Firefox in each country.

We essentially looked at downloads per Internet user, but to make the numbers a bit easier to digest, the chart shows how many Firefox 3.6 downloads there have been for every 1,000 Internet users each country has. The higher the number, the more popular Firefox is. We only included countries that have more than 1 million Firefox downloads, just like in the previous chart.

Firefox popularity

So, although the United States accounts for the highest number of Firefox downloads by far, when you take its size into consideration, the actual penetration is much lower than in many other countries. If Firefox were as popular in the United States as it is in Finland, US downloads would have more than tripled.

Final words

Since we looked at the latest version of Firefox, what you see in this article is an up-to-date view of which countries are the big Firefox users of the world right now. We hope you found this little study interesting.

And a small side note… It would have been very cool to be able to compare download numbers for all the different web browsers that exist out there, but unfortunately not everyone is quite as open as Mozilla about these things. Are you reading this, Google, Microsoft and Apple…? 😉

Data source: Firefox download numbers from Mozilla.

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