Nepal is only South Asian country where Facebook users outnumber Internet users

Posted on March 28, 2015  /  4 Comments

Nepal Facebook v Internet

In a previous post I wrote about there being more Facebook users than Internet users in South East Asia. I also said that this was not the case in South Asia.

But I was wrong. I had relied on data from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It was only recently that I looked at the data for Nepal. Looks like Nepal lines up with the SE Asian countries on this issue.

At the Ford Foundation supported course we had a good discussion on this. But no explanation that we could all agree on.


  1. Thanks for writing about Nepal but your statement is, sadly, based on mismatched data and thus I find your statement invalid.

    The number of Facebook users in Nepal that you have posted (4 million) is data of around August, 2014. The ITU data was probably recorded sometime in 2012 when Nepal’s internet penetration was ranged around 15 per cent.

    According to Nepal Telecommunications Authority, in August, 2014, the total internet subscribers in Nepal was 8,946,569. (I understand there are some duplication due to multiple SIM subscription and there are multiple users to fixed connections to homes and office, but we can safely assume that number of Internet users was around 8 million).

    If you compare data from around same time, its sensible; but if you compare data from August 2014 to data from 2012, it’s going to give you false comparison and a non-sensible finding such as “Nepal is only South Asian country where Facebook users outnumber Internet users”.

  2. Good point re data reporting points.

    We were not reporting “subscribers” which is what is reported by NTA. We were reporting “users” which is a category that relies on demand-side data, or is calculated by applying a multiplier to the reported subscriber data. The ITU Internet user number does not differ from what the LIRNEasia method yields.

    However, do you accept as fully accurate the NTA numbers? Seems to be based on a very broad definition.

    1. I don’t completely rely on data provided by NTA but I also don’t rely on appropriate data given by Facebook to a potential advertisers. FB data is more unreliable than data of NTA because simply you don’t know what definition they apply to their users.

  3. The data provided by NTA is very arguable in regards of active users which is more or less subjected to subscription. Until and unless we have specific provision of life span or definition of active SIM, its very hard to determine the actual active user rate.