SINGAPORE: The size of the internet population in Asia Pacific has increased by 22% over the course of the last year, to 484.2 million people overall, with China and Japan enjoying the most substantial levels of growth in this period, Comscore has estimated.

A recent forecast from Carat suggested China and India will be the markets that register the highest upticks in digital adspend in APAC in 2010, with rising web penetration levels one factor encouraging this trend.

Based on data from September 2009, Comscore reported that the online audience over 15 years of age in the region expanded from 396.0 million in the same month last year.

China posted an improvement of 31%, to 220.8 million web users, in the ninth month of this year, with Japan up by 18%, to 68.3 million, and India by 17%, to 35.8 million.

The number of netizens in South Korea also climbed by 10%, to 29.1 million, as did figures for Australia, by 12% to 12.7 million, and Taiwan, by 14%, to 12.1 million.

Singapore and New Zealand similarly both registered strong double-digit expansions, to totals of 2.7 million and 2.6 million respectively.

This positive trend moderated to 8% in Malaysia, with 9.4 million consumers now active on the net, and 5% in Hong Kong, where the comparative user base stood at 3.9 million.

Will Hodgman, Comscore's evp for Asia-Pacific region, said "Asia is not only home to the largest Internet population in the world, but it is also one of the fast-growing."

"With most markets in the region experiencing double-digit growth, marketers and advertisers have the opportunity to capitalize on the potential of the online to reach and engage a surging number of people engaging in a variety of consumer activities online."

Data sourced from Comscore; additional content by Warc staff