I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
-1 Corinthians 9:22b-23 (ESV)

(Click here for Part 1 and Part 2)

In putting together my manifesto, I included a lot of statistics and research that were relevant. Here are some of the statistics and research that make the case for an Online Campus. I’ve updated some of them as new information and statistics have emerged since the original manifesto. Sources will be included at the end of the post.

World Population (2011 Est.)
Asia: 3,879,740,877
Africa: 1,037,534,058
Europe: 816,426,346
Latin America/Caribbean: 597, 283,165
North America: 347,394,870
Middle East: 216,258,843
Oceania/Australia: 35,426,995

Total: 6,930,055,154

17% of United States population is attending church (evangelical/mainline/catholic) on any given Sunday.
17% = 52 million
The Midwest is projected to see a decline in churches by 2020.

If trend lines continue with attendance and population, by 2050 only 10.5% of United States population will be attending church on a Sunday.

Internet Users
Asia: 922,329,554
Europe: 476,213,935
North America: 272,066,000
Latin America/Caribbean: 215,939,400
Africa: 118,609,620
Middle East: 68,553,666
Oceania/Australia: 21,293,830

Total: 2,095,006,005

480% growth in world’s Internet use since 2000. North America has seen the slowest growth of Internet use at 151.7%.

Internet Penetration of Population // Growth Since 2000
North America: 78.3% // 151.7%
Oceania/Australia: 60.1% // 179.4
Europe: 58.3% // 353.1%
Latin America/Caribbean: 36.2% // 1,037.4%
Middle East: 31.7% // 1,987.0%
Asia: 23.8% // 706.9%
Africa: 11.4% // 2,527.4%

30% of the world population has access to the Internet.

Top Languages on Internet by Users
English: 536.6 million
Chinese: 444.9 million
Spanish: 153.3 million

Facebook Stats
750 million active users.
50% of active users log into Facebook on any given day.
Over 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.
More than 250 million active users access Facebook through mobile device.
People spend over 700 billion minutes on Facebook per month, over 20 hours average per active user.

Next Generation (Millennial) Stats
93% of Teens, ages 12-17, are online.
93% of Adults, ages 18-29, are online.
75% of Teens, ages 12-17, own a cell phone.
93% of Adults, ages 18-29, own a cell phone.
58% of 12 year olds own a cell phone.
81% of Adults, ages 18-29, are wireless internet users.
73% of American Teens are on Facebook.
Laptop is preferred over desktop by those under 30.
Millennials are more likely than any other generation to download a podcast and watch online video.

Millennials, those born after 1980, are more likely to be unaffiliated with any faith than any previous generation at comparable age. The generation ranks the lowest in the following categories when compared to other living generations.

  • Less than 20% say they attend church at least nearly every week.
  • 27% say they read the Bible weekly.
  • 48% say they pray daily.
  • 40% say religion is important in their lives.
  • 53% have absolute certain belief in God.
  • 27% believe Bible is literal word of God.

A recent study showed that teens are happier with their online/virtual lives than they are their real lives. Their online life provides them a chance to be more authentic, who they want to be, than they could in real life.

Millennials are more likely to be online, and less likely to be Christian. They will spend days on Facebook, and will never enter into a church building.

Millennials are the most likely to be connected with you online, despite their lack of religious affiliation. Millennials are spending more time online than any other activity. Why is the church waiting for Millennials to come to them, when Millennials show no intention of coming to church? Why is the church neglecting this exploding online mission field despite having the tools and technology to bring Jesus to this Millennial generation? It’s never been easier to reach as big of an audience as it is today.

The church needs to rethink its methodologies if it hopes to stay relevant in this next generation. Culture and technology is growing at an exponential rate, and it will not wait for the church to catch up to it.

Sources:
Internet World Stats
Top Languages on Internet
Facebook Statistics
Religion Among the Millennials
Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults
Generational Differences in Online Activities
Wired for Distraction: Kids and Social Media
Always Connected: The new digital media habits of young children
Generation net: The youngsters who prefer their virtual lives to the real world
Social media actually strengthen social ties
How Baby Boomers Are Embracing Digital Media

2 thoughts on “Online Campus: How It All Began (Part 3 / Statistics)

  1. Very interesting! I do have one question regarding the internet penetration of population. It says North America is 78.3%, does this mean 78.3% of North America has the internet? And if so, how does that translate into such slow growth compared to the other areas, especially since their penetration is less?

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  2. Thanks for reading!Here's the source from where I got the numbers.
    http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

    In rereading the web page, my understanding is the percentage represents the number of internet users divided by the population. Does that make sense?

    North America (USA) had a huge jump on Internet use before 2000. That's why it's growth isn't going to be as extreme as other parts of the world.

    Having done missions work in Africa (Cameroon, Nigeria) and Asia (China), I can understand why the percentage would be high for growth. When I traveled to those regions in 2000, there was hardly any Internet available. That is not the case anymore in the major populated areas. Last time I was in Beijing, Internet cafes and availability was seemingly everywhere in the city. The 2008 Olympics were a help with that.

    Hope this helps.

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