The world is a big place. A surface area of half a billion square kilometres, of which 150 million are on land. A million mountains. Three trillion trees. A GDP of 75 trillion US dollars. 195 countries recognised by the United Nations. Seven and a half billion people speaking around seven thousand languages.
Almost a quarter of those people live in five hundred or so cities of more than a million inhabitants. The biggest cities are scattered across the globe but a disproportionate number are found in South and East Asia. By most definitions, Tokyo is the biggest urban area in the world. Shanghai, Beijing, Delhi and Mumbai also feature prominently in any list of most populous cities. Outside Asia, Latin America's São Paulo and Mexico City vie with Africa's Cairo for next biggest, while New York just makes the top ten. London and Istanbul compete for the honours in Europe.
The World's most spoken languages are Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English, Arabic and Hindi. By number of native speakers, Mandarin and other Chinese languages are far ahead. Despite this, Spanish and English maintain a wide influence due to the range of countries they are spoken in and the volume of non-native speakers.
In terms of web hosting around the World, the US has the lion's share of the market at over 40 per cent. Germany is the next biggest player with almost 20 per cent followed by China on 7 per cent. Below that, the market is spread around numerous countries with a 2 or 3 per cent share. America's biggest hosts, GoDaddy and 1&1, each have a bigger share of the world market than the fourth biggest country, the UK.
There are more reasons than market share to decide where to look for hosting. The US and the European Union both have different data handling and copyright laws, for example. When targeting a specific region, it might make sense to base the website there unless there are good reasons not to.
The internet is worldwide in scope. A good web host can provide fast access to users based anywhere. Choosing a host need not come down to physical location, but it might be a significant factor depending on the nature of the website.