The global online population has grown to over 600 million for the first time.
According to newly released statistics from Nua Internet Surveys, 605.6 million people had Internet access at the end of September, up from 580.7 million in May 2002.
The research findings indicate that Europe currently has the biggest online population in the world with 190.91 million Internet users.
However, growth has been particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region in recent months and the continent has now overtaken North America in the number of Internet users it has.
According to the study, the online population in Asia-Pacific reached 187.24 million by the end of September.
In comparison, North America has seen little or no growth in its online population over the past few months, suggesting that the Internet access market there is reaching saturation point.
At the end September 2002, the North American Internet population stood at 182.67 million in North America.
Europe currently accounts for 31.5 percent of global Internet users, while Asia-Pacific has 30.9 percent and North America has 30.1 percent.
Rounding out the list is Latin America with 5.5 percent of the world’s Internet users, Africa and the Middle East with one percent each.
The full breakdown of Internet access figures by region and by country, is available here.