The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced on December 16 the results of its study on Koreans’ Internet usage in 2013.
According to the study, the number of Internet users in Korea reached 40.08 million this year, up nearly 10 million from 10 years ago (29.22 million). The nation's Internet penetration rates jumped from 65.5% to 82.1% over the same period.
In particular, Internet access rates of middle-aged people showed a clear upward trend. The ratio of Internet users in their 40s climbed 7.2% year-on-year, while the proportion of those in their 50s was up 20.2% from a year ago.
Meanwhile, Korea’s smartphone penetration rates were reported to be 79.7%, a 14.7% year-on-year gain, nearly twice as many as the figure for 2011 (42.5%). The dramatic rise in smartphone ownership is due to the fact that the distribution of smartphones has greatly expanded for two years.
A rise in the number of smartphone and Internet users reportedly affected related industries and services.