Mexico saw a steady increase in the number of internet users last year, growing to nearly 60% of the population since 2015.
According to new figures from Mexico’s Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatics (INEGI), about 65.5 million people are now using the internet, while 47.8% of homes now have access to the web, up from 39.2% in 2015.
Of these 65.5 million users, 88.9% use it to communicate, 81.9% access audiovisual content, 80.1% to entertain themselves, 15.9% to shop online, and 9.9% for banking operations.
Interestingly, the number of computer users is decreasing by the year. This is because people are increasingly using smartphones to access the web rather than computer devices, according to INEGI.
When it comes to internet usage, Mexico is lagging behind countries like Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Japan. In advanced countries, more than 90% of citizens have access to the internet, says the institute.
Oaxaca and Chiapas are the states with least internet penetration, with only 20% and 13% of people being able to access the web respectively. In Sonora and Baja California more than 70% of the population are using the web.
The Ministry of Communications says it would be wrong to say that many people have no access to the Internet. They do have access but many people don’t find it affordable due to high telecom service prices, the ministry added.
Analysts are optimistic that internet usage will increase dramatically over the coming months, because the arrival of foreign telecom firms is increasingly reducing service prices while operators do everything they can to sign up more customers.