100+ Must Know Online Learning Statistics in 2024

Online learning is among the top trends that have picked up swiftly in this digital age. Its growth is tremendous and not showing any signs of relapsing. Commonly referred to as e-learning, this type of distance learning does not occur in the conventional classroom where a physical teacher moderates and regulates information.

Whatever form of education (school-aged, higher learning, or institutional), all have greatly optimized on this window of opportunity.

Online learning benefits include flexibility, more independence, better time management, and improved self-motivation. On the other hand, the cons include more work for students, and it requires a lot of self-drive and lesser social interactions.

State of Global Online Learning: Facts and Statistics

Self-paced online learning is facing competition. Although not losing their niche, other platforms such as gamification and micro-learning are slowly taking over.

Here is a glance into the general e-learning statistics.

  • The global industry has since its birth grew by 900% globally.
  • Since its inception, the online learning market fact suggests that by 2025 to hit the $325 billion mark with over two decades.
  • Global markets experiencing 30% annual market growth include Thailand, India, China, and the Philippines.
  • Between the years 2020 to 2025, this market will experience a 200% increase.
  • The Asian market, which is the largest consumer, sees a 20% annual increase in its revenue through the online learning industry.
  • As of 2020, mobile e-learning had grown by $38 billion. From 2017 to 2022, there is an expected upward trajectory of $6 billion.
  • With the investiture into scheduled learning, the self-paced online market will likely decline to $33.5billion in 2021. This is despite the American Government having purchased self-paced products worth $2.59b in 2019.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality improvements in Edutainment or gamification are paving the way for virtual classes. It was projected to have $300 million in revenue in 2020.
  • Microlearning (a small-sized model of e-learning) in 2018 accounted for 60.7% of -learning.
  • At least 60% of internet users have indulged in online learning. This is because they can comfortably do it at the comfort of their time and place.
  • 80% of companies and 50% of institutional students have used an e-learning platform.
  • E-learning takes 40% to 60% lesser time for employees and students than conventional learning.
  • The majority of companies are shifting to e-learning. Around 42% of the institutions have experienced a rise in revenuestrong> as some costs, such as travel costs, have been significantly cut.
  • In Europe, an average online company has 25 employees and a revenue of 3million pounds.
  • The 48 countries that form the European Higher Education Area seek online learning to enhance traditional learning and not replace it.
  • E-learning enhances the learners’ retention rate to 25% to 60% retention, unlike while having one-on-one tutoring, which has a retention rate of 8% to 10%. This is because one can quickly revisit what they learned, and they tend to have more control over the process.
  • 28% of companies conduct their compliance training through online training.
  • Finally, there would be an 18% increase in employee engagement if corporations went the online learning way.

With a general view of how the online market has grown, here are further insights into the world of online learning facts.

Online Learning Trends and Statistics

Online learning trends are rapidly gaining speed on the upwards side. Most countries and institutions have relatively and mature online education sectors that can be emulated in other places.

With the proper infrastructure and implementation, online learning is experiencing exponential growth.

Here is a general overview of this trend and its statistics.

  • Udemy, one of the most popular online learning platforms, has more than 20,000 experts, with about 12 million students taking a course.
  • Teachable, another platform, has over 7500 experts, and they offer more than 20,000 online courses. They have around 3million students.
  • Other platforms include Ruzuku, Academy of mind, and Skillshare, with their tutors earning up to $40,000 per year.
  • By 2017, 30% of institutions were using the Blackboard platform in the US and Canada.
  • 75%, which is three-quarters of US learning institutions, relied on these platforms.
  • The US and European markets contribute 70% of most users of the e-learning services market globally.
  • 63% of US students use online learning tools daily.
  • LinkedIn Learning formed after LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com at $1.5billion two years after $103million funding in 2013. There was a significant rise in its market worth.
  • Videos have formed an integral part of online learning. This has seen Sony sell $500 million units of PlayStation Virtual Reality in 2017.
  • 67% of American college learners have completed some, if not all, of their course activity on their mobile phones.
  • 12% who did not complete their studies using this method would have if offered the chance.
  • Students undertaking a fully online degree increased from 3.8% in 2008 to 10.6% in 2016.
  • On average, an employee has 24 minutes in a week to spend on learning hence creating a challenge for developing their careers.
  • By 2026, the corporate online learning market is expected to hit $50billion with a steady growth of 15%.
  • Distance learning statistics show that 17% of women are more likely to enroll in online learning.

Who Takes Online Classes?

After the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared covid-19 a pandemic, most schools sent their students home. Shortly after that, online learning has become the norm. About 70% of the global student population was affected by this closure.

Countries that were first hit and affected by the virus, such as China, Italy, and South Korea, resulted in online homeschooling using online studying tools and platforms. The United States, China, India, United Kingdom, and South Korea have invested the most in e-learning.

The largest number of students taking online classes is in higher learning institutions, especially in post-graduate programs.

Covid-19 pandemic and the Growth of Statistics About Online Learning

The unforeseen pandemic led to the closure of all schools worldwide. This drastically changed the education sector forever. China (the origin of Covid-19) was among the first countries to implement lockdowns and ban public gatherings, which led to schools’ closure.

With its largest population of K-12 students, China’s best way to ensure continuity in learning was through online platforms. Here is how the pandemic led to the growth of online educational statistics:

  • Over 1.2 billion children were pushed out of the classroom in 186 countries.
  • In February 2020, 250 million full-time students in China resumed their studies online.
  • The pandemic also caused 81% of K-students to attend classes through the Tencent-K student online class.
  • The ‘Think and Learning’ App also experienced a 200% increase in the number of new students.
  • Alibaba Cloud rapidly expanded with more than 100,000 new servers to bridge the sudden influx.
  • Most universities had to transition to online, with DingTalk ZJU offering more than 5000 online courses.
  • With online learning requiring a gadget, 95% of students in Norway, Switzerland, were lucky to have one, while only 34% are privileged in Indonesia.
  • In the US, most 15-year-old have access to gadgets. In contrast, 25% from unprivileged backgrounds completely have no access to any gadget.
  • 90% of the countries adopted the digital online learning process, and 60% of the pre-primary did the same.
  • TV reached more students during the period they stayed at home, attributing to 62%.
  • Only 16% of the children were reached by radio for learning purposes.
  • 83% of the countries used online platforms to ensure learning continued.
  • 31% cannot be reached by either the broadcast platform or the internet-based learning.
  • Government policies ensured at least 69% were reached through broadcast or media for education.

How is the education sector responding to COVID-19?

During the pandemic, more than 70% of students preferred receiving frequent up-to-date covid-19 updates. The gap between students and staff was also increased during this pandemic period. This is because most schools closed physically, and students could no longer have face-to-face interactions with their teachers.

Schools that had invested earlier in online learning platforms had an easy time shifting when the pandemic hit.

According to College Crisis Initiative:

  • More than 1200 colleges and schools in over 50 states were affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
  • 44% of institutions adapted fully to online learning tools and platforms. Online learning became the only primary mode of learning for them.
  • 21% of colleges adopted a hybrid model of learning.
  • 27% of institutions continued with face-to-face learning fully.

It was also found that up to 20% of students had problems accessing online learning platforms.

Online Course and MOOC Statistics

Massive Open Online Learning courses (Mooc) are now being offered in most learning institutions. Since most online learning courses are free, MOOC provides an affordable way for learners and even trainers to advance their learning.

Additionally, massive open-source online courses (MOOC) are rising that ensure MOOC delivers professional content and quality education.

Here are the MOOC online learning stats:

  • As of 2019, MOOC’s value stood at $5.16billion.
  • MOOC expects a 29% growth annually in the market from 2020 to 2025.
  • However, 73% of students are still not in the know about MOOC.
  • By 2025, MOOC is projected to enjoy a market share of $21.4 billion.
  • EdX, created by MIT and Harvard, is an example of MOOC and has over 20million users and over 70 million enrollments.
  • North America contributes to 29.4% of the global MOOC Market.
  • Out of the 25 top universities in America, 22 of them offer online classes.
  • From 2020 to 2025, the Asia-pacific region will emerge as the fastest-growing market in MOOC.
  • 79% of MOOC users have a degree, while 44% have a post-graduate degree.
  • People between ages 5 to 17 contribute 3.1% that take an online school-related course.
  • Online courses cut on cost with credit hours ranging from $12 to $66 per credit hour.
  • 87% of students use mobile phones to search for an online course.
  • The completion rate for MOOCs in the UK is less than 13%.
  • The majority taking US online courses are physically located in the US totaling up to 99%.

Here are some top MOOC providers look like in terms of users and offerings according to online learning facts 2019:

Course Name Learners Course Degrees
Coursera 45 million 3800 16
Edx 24 million 2640 10
FutureLearn 10 million 800 23
Swayam 10 million 1000 0

Here are some top MOOC providers look like in terms of users and offerings according to online learning facts 2020:

Course Name Learners Course Degrees
Coursera 76 million 4600 25
Edx 35 million 3100 13
FutureLearn 14 million 1160 28
Swayam 16 million 1130 0

Major notable changes:

  • Coursera able to increase learners number from 45 million to 76 million in 2020.
  • Edx able to improve learners from 24 million to 35 million, which is quite an improvement.
  • Future learn provide 23 degrees in 2019, and in 2020 it increased to 28 degrees.

Online Undergraduate and Graduate Students by The Numbers

online learning platforms have registered significant growth in terms of statistics. Even before the pandemic, most higher learning institutions had online learning, especially remote distance Elearning. The Covid-19 pandemic led to a higher intake of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in online learning.

Here is a peak to the state of higher learning by numbers;

  • In the fall of 2008, more than 7 million students registered for remote learning in both undergraduate and graduate courses. This portion represents 36% of the student population.
  • Projections show that the number is likely to grow to 39% by 2025.

The Role of E-Learning in the Corporate World

To have a tremendous competitive advantage, most companies train their employees regarding their best practices and business culture.

Many organizations have also realized that incorporating e-learning in their employees’ communication and training accrues other benefits. They are:

  • Companies save on the cost of running using e-learning. For instance, training magazines can save up to 80% of printing costs.
  • E-learning reduces learning time for employees by 60% compared to traditional learning.
  • Taking part in e-learning, especially for companies, consumes 90% less energy than physical training.

General Online learning trends

There is an overall worldwide online learning growth, and it’s not about to come to a halt. Here are some general statistics.

  • Most top 10 institutions saw a 10% increment in students being enrolled ONLINE compared to traditional enrollment.
  • 57% of the students have mobiles assigned for school use.
  • 45% of basic school going students have established that their favorite learning method is by watching online movies and playing online games.
  • 13% of students are having trouble with their assignments since they cannot access the school internet.
  • The majority of students in high school are interested in learning online programming. 42% of these are females, while 62% are males.
  • 41.6% undertaking online learning are age 30 and above.
  • More than 3million students are fully taking online learning for their higher education.
  • Traditional secondary education is dropping in enrollment from 1% to 2% per year. Many students are opting for affordable online learning.
  • 46.4% undertaking online degrees are either taking a business-related course, computer science, or a health course.
  • 50% of K-12 teachers are taking online training.
  • 72% of K-12 students use cloud-based education tools for the learning experience.
  • There has been a rise in the number of students taking online learning from 16.5% in 2008 to 45.6% in 2016.

Components of Online Courses

Online learning emulates more or less the same procedure as physical learning. However, other components are unique to online learning. They include;

  • Interactive videos: These videos allow learners to explore content in the videos using various interactions such as clicking, dragging, and other exploratory features.
  • PowerPoint presentations: Using software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Alternative tools, PowerPoint presentations allow trainers to disseminate information using slides. These slides can contain texts, charts, videos, audio, links, tables, images, and even word arts.
  • Sourcing from written materials: This process involves lifting content from available textbooks, journals, and other literature.
  • Forums and discussion boards: Online learning platforms offer services similar to those of chat rooms. Learners and trainers can discuss or air their views regarding a topic.
  • Assessments: These are similar to written tests but offered online. Most times, trainers offer open-book assessments, which allow learners to refer to other materials.

Leading Online Learning Platforms by Market share

The inception of online learning necessitated the infrastructure in which learning takes place. This has seen a rise in the number of online learning platforms. These platforms provide learners, trainers, and other stakeholders with the necessary tools and services for online learning.

These platforms also assist with managing and delivering learning resources and even a business model for online learning. Here are the leading online platforms;

  • Udemy: Has 40 million students and over 50,000 tutors.
  • LinkedIn Learning: It has over 16,000 courses in 7 different languages and has two subscription options. The monthly $29.99, and an annual fee of $239.88.
  • Coursera: Has 23 million users and partners with other learning institutions.
  • Skillshare: This is a platform with around 4 million users and about 24,000 courses.
  • edX: This learning platform has partnered with other learning institutions to offer more than 8,000 online courses.

The challenges of online learning.

Unlike one-on-one learning, physical learning is more demanding. But this does not make it any easier for online learning.

Here are some challenges that students face in their daily interactions with the platforms.

  • Adaptability struggle since the traditional classroom meeting was always the only means of learning for numerous students.
  • Technical problems are rampant in this sector since these platforms entirely rely on technology, which is sometimes subject to failure.
  • Computer literacy is also a challenge because the tools used in online learning use computers, and not all students are skilled in this area.
  • Time management is another challenge, especially during exams.

The Limitation of Online Degrees

Online degrees are subjected to several limitations as compared to those acquired via one-on-one learning.

  • They promote a sense of isolation
  • More time and resources are required to accomplish online degrees.
  • Some employees may reject online degrees in comparison to physically attained ones.
  • Online degrees are subject to procrastination.

Wrap up

Online learning is becoming a part of our lives. When incorporated with other methods, it pushes the learning process steps ahead.


❓ What is the percentage of students taking online classes?

The percentage of learners taking online classes is on the rise. There’s no absolute number as more continue to enroll due to the pandemic. For a clear picture, in a 2017 study, out of 5 million undergraduate students, 19% took a form of online learning.

💻 How popular is online education?

In the pre-Covid-19 period, online learning was taking root but not adopted widely. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, online-learning has skyrocketed, and it is one of the most popular trends worldwide.

⚡ Is online education effective?

Online learning has proven useful as studies have shown that learners can retain 25-60% of material compared to 8-10% in physical interactions.

👉 How big is the e-learning market?

The online learning market is expected to hit the $325billion mark by 2025.

❗ Why is e-learning important to education?

E-learning has proved to be the best education continuity strategy when face-to-face learning is no longer viable. It equips stakeholders with all the necessary tools and services needed for the education sector.