Germany has taken the social networking top spot for western Europe that was previously occupied by the UK, according to new data from eMarketer.

The estimates, based on the market researcher’s latest forecast of internet, broadband and social network users worldwide, point to the UK reaching a population of 32.1 million social network users this year.

Since 2012, the number of users of any age who log on to a social networking site at least once a month from any electronic device has grown by two million. However, faster growth expectations in Germany have pushed the UK down to second place.

UK Social Media Growth is Slow

Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Germany is higher than the UK, and most other western European nations apart from Spain, which suggests the UK is unlikely to take first place back until at least 2017 when the forecast ends.

​Where the UK does excel though is in its Facebook usage. In this respect, its CAGR is less than the likes of France, Italy and Spain, which are below. In fact, only the Netherlands has a lower CAGR than the UK.

​More than half the population (six in 10) are expected to use Facebook this year. In percentage terms, the UK sits behind other highly developed countries such as Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden.

EMarketer’s own data also reveals the percentage of total social network users that Facebook contributes. The UK comes in at 93.4%, marginally lower than the 93.9% that Spain boasts.