Internet Penetration in the Philippines

Internet Penetration in the Philippines

According to a friend of mine, ACNielsen doesn’t have any relevant internet-usage research studies in the Philippines. This is the same topic I brought up during the iBlog3 — no extensive public study has been made in recent years about internet penetration and online usage behavior in the country.

So, when the issue of Internet Usage in the Philippines was tackled, everyone had their own numbers to throw out. Some would say 20% while others maintain the slow growth rate of 12%. While digging a little deeper into this topic, I found several statistics and research studies from the Internet World Stats and here are some of the figures I found there:

Philippines estimated population: 87,236,532 (2006); 84,174,092 (2005); 78,181,900 (2000)

Internet Users (2000): 2,000,000 (source: ITU)


Internet Usage (2000): 2.6%

Internet Users (2005): 7,820,000 (source: C.I.Almanac)

Internet Usage (2005): 9.3%

While the latest data was taken at the end of 2005, the growth of internet users must have also increased by then. However, also bear in mind that the population is also growing so that percentage shouldn’t have been affected that much. Still, the internet usage growth rate from 2000 is 291%. If you extrapolate that, we could make an educated guess of 10.15 Million for 2007 or 11.6% penetration.

Compare that to neighboring countries such as Malaysia (47.8%), Hong Kong (68.2 %), Singapore (66.3%) and we’re way behind. Although there are others like Vietnam (17.5 %), Thailand (12.5%), China (10.4%) and Indonesia (4.5%) so we’re really not that far behind. *heh*

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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13 Responses

  1. juantanamera says:

    I think this tells that the “Internet is only for the privileged”?

  2. jhay says:

    Oh, no there goes the word “privileged” again…lolz

    Either way, it means that there’s plenty of space and opportunities to start up your own internet cafe.

  3. eric says:

    i think the problem is poverty/accessiblity. the countryside folks i guess would rather spend their 20-30 for a kilo of rice than spen an hour browsing the net.

    many far flung towns and cities still dont have internet connections/internet cafes to serve the need of the public/

  4. Actually there is an official survey about the internet penetration in the Philippines and in the region, but there’s an expensive fee for it.

    And the Philippines is higher than Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

  5. says:

    The population may be growing but I believe that internet usage is increasing at a faster rate. However, the growth may not necessarily be along the lines of quality usage. Look around you, even in the most depressed and populated areas. There are internet cafes everywhere and all are filled with customers to capacity. One thing that I noticed though, most users are into online games and Yahoo chat. I also noticed a lot of women within the age bracket of 25~40 who are using webcams and chatting with mid aged foreign males. Hmmn..

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  8. Hello Yuga,

    Very interesting article, thank you! This comment is very late and you may not even receive it, but I have a question. Hopefully you or someone else can answer form me. In the Philippines, what language is most commonly used on the internet, English or Filipino? From what I’ve seen it is most likely English. Any idea of percentages?

    Any answers would be appreciated.


  9. yuga says:

    Hi Doug,

    I would hazard a guess that 90% of all published articles out of the Philippines are written in English. The 5% is from tabloids and written in Tagalog while the other 5% are various major local languages (Cebuano, Ilonggo, etc.) in outer regions.

    However, if we include Taglish (Tagalog-English), mobile speak and chat speak, it would be another thing altogether as these are most commonly used in chatrooms, message boards, social networks (i.e. Friendster) and groups.

  10. I do like the way you have presented this difficulty and it really does offer us a lot of fodder for thought. On the other hand, from what precisely I have experienced, I simply just wish as the reviews pile on that men and women continue to be on issue and don’t start on a soap box regarding the news of the day. Yet, thank you for this superb point and even though I can not really agree with the idea in totality, I respect your point of view.

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