Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nielsen: Internet Access On Rise In Latin America

By Mark Walsh, MediaPost.

With Latin America suffering less from the global recession than North America or Europe, Internet access rates in the region have gained steadily in recent years, according to new data from Nielsen.

The research firm conducted a study that examined how the increased affluence of consumers in Latin America has affected media penetration rates -- focusing on four countries: Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Chile came out on top in home Internet access, with 41% penetration in 2009 (the most recent year for which data is available), up from 35% the prior year. Computer ownership in Chile was also the highest among the four countries -- at 57%, up from 52% in 2008.

Brazil's Internet rate of 31% was well below Chile, but that figure reflects a significant increase from just 18% in 2008. Computer ownership also jumped in 2009, nearly doubling to 51% from 26% year-over-year. Internet penetration in Colombia was up five points to 29%, and in Mexico, it rose three points to 24%. PC ownership in Colombia was just 13% -- up from 9% -- while in Mexico it was 32%, a percentage point down from 33% in 2008.

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