The number of Internet users in Korea has surpassed 40 million for the first time, the Ministry for Future Planning and Science said Monday.
A recent survey by the ministry found that the total stood at 40.08 million people, compared to 29.99 million in 2003. The internet usage rate rose from 65.5 percent to 82.1 percent over the decade.
The data was collected based on a sample survey of 77,402 people over a three-month period.
The usage pattern is shifting from fixed-line connection to mobile networks. The Internet penetration rate per household rose from 97.4 percent last year to 98.1 percent. But an increase in the number of mobile connections thanks to the proliferation of smart devices caused fixed-line connections at home to fall from 82.1 percent to 79.8 percent over the same period.
E-mail usage plummeted from 84.8 percent to 60.2 percent over the past year, but mobile messenger usage via services such as Kakao Talk and Line surged from 60.1 percent to 82.7 percent.