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AP Photo/Julio Cortez
Just. Can’t. Stop.

Brazil has the world’s biggest internet addicts

By Sonali Kohli

Thanks to its young population armed with smartphones, Brazil beat nine other internet-connected countries for its citizens’ frequency of web use, according to a new report from business consultancy ATKearney.

The study surveyed people who use the internet at least once a week. The respondents also skewed toward the young, with 64% aged 45 or younger. In this survey, 51% of Brazilian internet users said they were online all day long, and 20% used the internet more than 10 times a day.

No wonder: Brazil had the second-highest smartphone penetration in Latin America as of early 2014, beat only by Mexico (which was not included in this survey). Nearly 100 million Brazilians used the internet in 2013, spurring a growing community of online freedom activists.

The survey, conducted in July, culled responses from about 1,000 respondents in each of the nine countries that use the internet the most. The tenth country surveyed was South Africa, which falls at number 25 in internet usage but was included to give representation to Africa, where internet use is growing rapidly (though it still has low connectivity compared to the rest of the world). Nigerians and South Africans were the second and third-most-likely to be online at least once every waking hour (measured as at least 10 times a day) or online all day long.

Age and companionship factor heavily into the internet itch; those who spend the most time online are young (53% were between the ages of 16-35) and unmarried (also 53%).

Social networking drives internet use in the top countries. In Brazil, respondents spend 58% of their online time on social networking sites—a higher proportion than any other country.