It’s notoriously difficult to get reliable statistics on web browser usage.
While there are sites that purport to track such things such as StatCounter and NetMarketShare, the numbers coming from these sources have proved to be problematic and unreliable.
Enter the US Government’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP, for short).
While it doesn’t reveal anything about browser statistics worldwide, it does give us a running count of the browsers used when visiting government websites over the last 90 days, which gives us a clear view of the American browser market breakdown.
The results will probably not be terribly surprising to anyone, but in 2020, the most popular web browser is Google Chrome, with 49.3 percent of the recorded share of visits. This is a far cry from IE’s once dominant share of 96 percent back in the infancy of the web, but it’s hardly a surprise that no company has that kind of dominance anymore.
Apple’s Safari browser comes in a distant second with 31.6 percent. At a glance, this number is interesting because to this day, Macs only make up about 10 percent of the PC market. Remember though, that most web surfing is done on smartphones these days. In the US, 29.5 percent of smartphones are Apple devices, compared to 23 percent Android devices. So most of the Safari use actually comes from phones, not PCs.
The big surprise is the third place winner. Internet Explorer. Despite the fact that Microsoft has been urging people to switch to Edge, IE is still the third most widely used browser, capturing 5.7 percent of the market. IE 11 is the most popular version, but there are still some users (0.5 percent of the market) using IE 7 which has been out of support for years now.
Edge loses out to IE, capturing only 4.2 percent of the market, and bringing up the rear is Firefox, with a mere 3.6 percent. The remaining 11.3 percent of the market share is divided up between a constellation of tiny, seldom used browsers that nonetheless have niche followings.
If you use Chrome, count yourself among the mainstream. If you’re still using IE, please consider switching to a more modern, more secure browser. Seriously.