The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) reports that the total number of internet users in the country reached 67.9 million as at 31 December 2009, up 21.5% when compared to the previous year. According to the findings of its National Survey by Household Sample (PNAD), the number of people (aged ten and over) who use the internet increased by twelve million in the period under review, marking a massive increase on the 31.9 million users reported in 2005.
The IBGE’s findings show particularly strong internet usage in Brazil’s southeastern states, where users represent 48.1% of the total population of the region. Other strong areas for internet uptake are the northern (34.3%) and northeast (30.2%) regions. The survey also highlighted a shift in trend that has seen younger members of society dominating in terms of internet access. In 2009 71% of people aged 15-17 years, and 68.7% of 18 and 19 year-olds were connected to the World Wide Web, it said.