Facebook: Emerging market countries surge into the top 10

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Only a year or two ago, developed countries were dominating Facebook, but in terms of growth it’s the developing economies that are taking giant leaps forward in Facebook numbers. While the United States seems to have hit a plateau, the emerging markets are going from strength to strength.

India has moved up three spots in just two months, while Mexico and the Philippines feature strongly too. It seems fair to assume that as online access increases, so will the Facebook populations of these countries.

Here are the top 10 countries on Facebook, as measured by number of users.

1. United States of America

Facebook Population: 146 591 880
Penetration of total population: 47.25%
Male – Female Ratio: 44% Male – 56% Female
Growth (past six months): 14.13%%

It may not be the world’s only superpower anymore, but the birthplace of Facebook is still its biggest market. Basically half the population have a Facebook profile and 50% of those are in the influential 18-34 age bracket. Its growth has obviously slowed, but it’s still steady.

2. Indonesia

Facebook Population: 33 920 020
Penetration of total population: 13.96%
Male – Female Ratio: 59% Male – 41% Female
Growth (past six months): 23.61%

Surprise, surprise. Who would have expected Indonesia to beat the UK? Then again, it is the fourth most populous country in the world. The archipelago’s Facebook numbers have grown by 10-million over the past six months and show no sign of slowing down.

3. United Kingdom

Facebook Population: 27 545 920
Penetration of total population: 44.18%
Male – Female Ratio: 48% Male – 52% Female
Growth (past six months): 3.64%

No surprises here, although there has been a massive decline in numbers for the 18-35 age group. The very low growth rate also seems to indicate a loss of interest in Facebook, although it’s more likely that a level of saturation has been reached.

4. Turkey

Facebook Population: 24 788 400
Penetration of total population: 31.86%
Male – Female Ratio: 64% Male – 36% Female
Growth (past six months): 9.02%

Turkey’s population penetration virtually ties with France, but bucks the trend with more men than women users. Interestingly, it’s the second predominantly Muslim country on the list to have a swiftly growing Facebook audience.

5. Philippines

Facebook Population: 20 802 540
Penetration of total population: 20.82%
Male – Female Ratio: 48% Male – 52% Female
Growth (past six months): 29.81%

Another island nation that has taken to Facebook in a big way, the Philippines fits the profile of developing countries with a growing 18-35 age group and increasing Facebook Advert prices. However, its female skew sets it apart from Turkey, Indonesia and India.

6. France

Facebook Population: 20 271 860
Penetration of total population: 31.30%
Male – Female Ratio: 49% Male – 51% Female
Growth (past six months): 6.56%

Vive la Facebook! The Americans might have tried to rename French fries “Freedom fries”, but this hasn’t stopped the world’s most snobbish nation from embracing the social network. Of course, they keep their national pride by having Louis Vuitton as the top Facebook brand in France.

7. Mexico

Facebook Population: 18 830 960
Penetration of total population: 16.74%
Male – Female Ratio: 50% Male – 50% Female
Growth (past six months): 31.08%

Along with Indonesia and India, the local Blackberry Page is the top-ranking brand on Facebook for Mexico. There are also no surprises that the youth market is the fastest-growing. However, we did expect penetration to be higher since the United States employs large amounts of its population.

8. India

Facebook Population: 18 818 720
Penetration of total population: 1.60%
Male – Female Ratio: 71% Male – 29% Female
Growth (past six months): 43.95%

With over a billion people, India could easily become the largest country on Facebook and still not have even a quarter of its population signed up. It has grown by a whopping 43% in the past 6 months. If that continues exponentially, it’ll edge out the United States in less than two years.

9. Italy

Facebook Population: 17 753 040
Penetration of total population: 30.56%
Male – Female Ratio: 54 % Male – 46% Female
Growth (past six months): 6.23%

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s the Italian Stallions who are the third highest European country in terms of Facebook numbers. They’re also the only developed nation on the list to have more men than women. Unsurprisingly, top brands on Facebook in Italy include Nike Football and Nutella.

10. Canada

Facebook Population: 16 636 880
Penetration of total population: 49.28%
Male – Female Ratio: 46% Male – 54% Female
Growth (past six months): 6.85%

Penetration is slightly higher than the United States, but Canada’s population is also significantly smaller. Still, a growth rate of 6.85% is quite impressive at such levels of saturation. Canada could well be the first country with a population of more than five million to reach 60% penetration on Facebook.

Bric by Bric
Of the BRICs countries, China doesn’t feature because the social networking platform is blocked in that country. In Russia and Brazil there are other established social networking players in Orkut and Mail.ru’s VKontakte. South Africa is the leading Facebook country in Africa, but is nowhere near the top 10 globally. The country ranks 32nd, one place after Russia and just before Israel, with 3 350 640 Facebook users.

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