Online Learning Stats And Facts 2023

Online Learning Stats And Facts 2023

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As we have stepped into 2023, Online learning has continued to rise and advance the modern education system. NCC Home Learning has uncovered the facts and stats of online education’s current and future trends, and they will blow your mind! So, Whether you’re an educator, student, or simply curious, join us as we discover the fascinating world of online learning stats and facts for 2023.

Growth of Online Learning

Online learning has experienced significant growth due to its technological advancements, increased internet accessibility, and the need for flexible education. Its convenience and flexibility have attracted working professionals and individuals with busy schedules. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated its adoption as online learning has allowed student education to continue after the pause caused by the pandemic offering students distanced learning solutions and completing studies whilst in isolation.

Distanced learning offers a range of benefits, such as self-paced learning and access to vast resources. It is expected to continue growing as technology advances. However, challenges like the digital divide and lack of face-to-face interaction persist.

Worldwide market growth for online learning (since 2000)Over 900%
Projected worth of America’s online learning industry (by 2030)$687 billion
Expected growth of online learning (2020-2025)Over 200%
Estimated number of people taking online courses (by 2027)Up to 57 million
Percentage of universities that moved classes online (since 2020)98%
Expected growth of the European eLearning market (2020-2024)$28 billion
Growth rate of online learning market (since 2000)900%
Annual growth rate or mobile learning market23%
Expected growth of corporate learning (by 2026)250%
Proportion of top US universities offering eLearning coursesNearly all
Increase in microlearning usage in 2020700%
Average micro lesson completion time5 to 7 minutes
Average number of micro lessons per microlearning course4-5
Retention rate from microlearning (vs. traditional learning)70% to 90% vs. 15%
Benefits of microlearningImproved learning transfer (17%)
Improved engagement (50%)
Increased development speed (300%)
Reduced development costs (50%)
Projected worth of mobile learning market (by 2027)$80.1 billion

How Many People Take Online Learning

Millions of people worldwide have actively embraced distance learning, fueling significant growth in online education. By 2021, estimates indicated that over 1.6 billion learners globally were engaged in online learning, spanning from primary school to higher education, and professionals seeking continuous learning opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic further expedited the adoption of digital platforms, as learners relied on them to sustain their education. As technology advances and accessibility to online learning improves, the online learning industry is projected to flourish in the future.

Undergraduate students studying online in 202051% female
49% male
Graduate students studying online in 2020
52% female
48% male
Projected number of online learning platform users (by 2027)57 million
Increase in students taking non-exclusive online courses (2019-2020)97%
Number of learners who enrolled in massive open online courses (last year)Over 200 million
Proportion of online learners aged 30 or older42%
Percentage of universities currently offering online courses98%
Estimated revenue generated by the US online learning market in 2023$74.800 million
Percentage of companies globally planning to adopt online learning93%
Likelihood of low-income and rural schools having slow internet access50% more likely
Proportion of Black households without high-speed internet access25%
Proportion of Hispanic households without high-speed internet access23%
Teachers who find technology makes learning more interesting79%
Percentage of online activity attributed to video web contentOver 80%
College students who agree that eLearning is useful for managing course schedules36%
Countries using online platforms to ensure education access during the pandemic83%

Is Online Learning More Or Less Effective?

The effectiveness of online learning is a topic of ongoing debate and research. While traditional face-to-face learning has advantages, online learning has proven equally effective or even more so in specific contexts. Numerous studies have shown that well-designed online courses can lead to similar or superior learning outcomes compared to traditional classroom settings. Online learning offers the flexibility to tailor the learning experience to individual needs, allowing learners to progress at their own pace and access a wide range of resources.

However, the effectiveness of online learning can be influenced by various factors, including the quality of course design, learner engagement, instructor support, and technological infrastructure. Additionally, some subjects or learning objectives may be better suited for face-to-face instruction. Overall, the effectiveness of online learning depends on various factors, and a combination of online and offline learning approaches can often yield the best educational outcomes.

Percentage of students who prefer online classes over traditional classroom settings70%
Retention rate of students in online learning (compared to 8%-10% in traditional learning)25%-60%
Time savings in studying with online learning (compared to traditional learning)40%-60%
Percentage of students who credit digital technology and online learning for grade improvement81%
Areas where students observe the most change with online learning (according to 85% of students)Critical thinking and problem solving
Percentage of online students who report improved soft skills60%
Increase in failing grades due to the rise of eLearning30%
Lower completion rates for some students in online coursesUp to 22% lower
Increase in D and F grades for some middle school students with online learningUp to 30%
Increase in failing grades for online learning in some regionsUp to 70%
Increase in failing grades for students with disabilities in online learningAround 98%

Do Pupils Prefer Online Learning?

Student preferences for online learning versus in-person studies vary. Some prefer online learning for its flexibility and convenience, while others value the face-to-face interactions and structured environment of in-person studies. Preferences can also depend on the subject matter, learning objectives, learning style and home situation. A blended approach combining both modalities can cater to diverse student preferences and optimise the learning experience.

Percentage of online course takers who recommend online courses95%
Percentage of online students who would recommend online education to others95%
Percentage of students who prefer online classes over traditional classroom settings70%
Percentage of students who find completing an online course easier than learning in a classroom36%
Market share of online education attributed to content learning59%
Percentage of educators lacking support for eLearningOver 33%
Percentage of educators who need to redesign courses for online mediums33%
Percentage of educators aiming to improve accessibility to online materials39%
Percentage of educators concerned with improving student collaboration31%
Percentage of undergraduate and graduate students who consider online learning as effective as face-to-face instruction48%
Percentage of students who find online learning better than in-classroom lessons37%
Percentage of students who feel online learning is not as effective15%
Percentage of science teachers who find technology adequate for learning34%-48%
Most enjoyable method of learning for menWatching videos online: 30.85%
Most enjoyable method of learning for womenTaking an online course: 30.97%
Percentage of men who enjoy one-to-one tutors online as a learning method15.52%
Percentage of women who enjoy one-to-one tutors online as a learning method10.55%
Percentage of remote learners who think their online degree was worth the money86%
Percentage of college students who find online learning extremely helpful for their homeworkMore than 40%
Percentage of students with previous online learning experience who found the switch to eLearning easy60%

Online Learning And Business

Online learning has transformed employee training and development for businesses. It offers flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility for upskilling employees. Companies can deliver consistent training across teams, access a wide range of courses, and foster a culture of continuous learning. However, careful implementation and monitoring are essential for successful outcomes. Online learning empowers businesses to cultivate a skilled workforce and adapt to changing markets.

Percentage of US corporations that have incorporated online learning (by 2020)98%
Improvement in employee performance with eLearning15%-25%
Percentage of companies providing online learning or training for employees77%
Increase in employee engagement with online learning in a corporate environmentUp to 18%
Increase in retention and performance with self-paced online learning25%-67%
Increase in revenue per employee for companies using online learning200%+
Percentage of corporations that believe online learning increases their competitive edge72%
Projected worth of the corporate eLearning industry by 2026Nearly $50 billion
Percentage of companies globally planning to adopt online learning93%
Percentage of organisations that believe eLearning increases their competitive edge72%
Projected worth of the corporate online learning market by 2026$50 billion
Return on investment (ROI) in productivity improvement with eLearningEvery $1 spent
improves productivity
by $30
Percentage of companies using online learning to close employee knowledge gaps62%
Amount saved by IBM through the switch from traditional training to eLearningAlmost $200 million
Percentage of global workers who believe there is a skill gapNearly 83%
Percentage of mobile users who state that mobile learning enhances their experiences99%
Percentage of companies offering eLearning through smartphones67%
Percentage of employees who would stay longer at a company if it invested in their career development94%
Increase in team member engagement with eLearningUp to 18%
Percentage of companies offering online learning with increased income and profit margins42%
Time savings with online learning compared to classroom training in a corporate setting
60% less

Online Learning And Education

Online learning has transformed education by providing flexible and accessible learning opportunities, particularly during the peak of the global pandemic, which left students out of school and isolated. It has expanded access to education in formal, home and continuing education settings. Online platforms offer courses and resources, allowing personalised learning experiences and qualifications such as under and postgraduate degrees. While challenges exist, online learning is revolutionising education and is expected to continue playing a vital role.

Percentage of universities that have shifted to offer online courses98%
Projected market volume of university-based education in 2023$103.8 billion
Percentage of individuals considering doing a university degree online31%
Most popular subject chosen by those who have completed an online courseBusiness (30%)
Increase in digital enrolment for online universities11%
Percentage of individuals using online learning tools at least once per day63%
Percentage reduction in study time for online college studentsUp to 60% less
Percentage of US schools operating completely online during Covid-1975%
Percentage of full-time faculty members trained in online learning49%
Percentage of undergraduates and graduate students taking at least
one online course
Undergraduates:  75%
Graduate students:
Percentage of US households with school-age children lacking internet access at home15%
Most popular eLearning platform with over 50 million studentsUdemy
Percentage of students reporting that eLearning tools help improve their grades81%
Percentage of students wanting to take some or all academic courses online post-pandemic46%
Percentage of graduates participating in exclusively online courses22%
Percentage of US lecturers citing lack of training as the biggest barrier to adopting educational technology41%
Percentage of professors approving of online learning49%
Average time spent on sites with inappropriate content per dayOne hour
Percentage of school IT teams challenged with tracking lost or missing devicesOver 40%
Number of digital devices delivered to schools in England1.35 million
Percentage of students in the UK unable to access online learning during the 2020 lockdown27%

Costs Of Online Learning

Online learning offers cost advantages by eliminating commuting expenses and reducing the need for physical infrastructure. While online courses may have tuition fees, they are often more affordable due to lower overhead costs, and for students who live at home, there are no accommodation fees. Learners may need to invest in reliable internet access and technology, but as technology advances, online learning becomes more accessible and cost-effective. Overall, online learning provides affordability and flexibility for learners seeking quality education at a reasonable cost.

Check out our most affordable and popular courses here.

Percentage of colleges charging remote students more than in-person students54%
Average cost of online college courses per year$15,000+ per year
Average cost per credit hour for online education$516 per credit hour
Least expensive options for online educationAs low as $200 per credit hour
Average cost of a degree from a public online college$10,000 per year
Average cost of a degree from a private non-profit online college$15,000 per year
Average cost of a degree from a private for-profit online college$17,000 per year
Projected revenue per user in online education in 2023$20,000+
Average monthly earnings of top teachers at Skillshare$3,000 on average per month
Percentage of colleges charging in-person and remote students the same tuition75%
Percentage of colleges charging in-person and remote students the same total price27%
Price difference between an online degree and a traditional on-campus degreeMore than $10,000 cheaper

Online Learning By Country

Online learning has gained momentum worldwide, transforming education in various countries. Renowned universities offer online degree programs and courses in the United States and the United Kingdom. India and China have witnessed rapid growth in online learning, catering to diverse educational needs. Australia and Germany have embraced online learning to provide flexibility and accessibility. Online learning is a global phenomenon, offering accessible and flexible education opportunities internationally. Have a device? Have access to the internet? Then you can learn online from anywhere.

Majority of Global eLearning IndustryUS and Europe
Asia Pacific E-Learning Market Growth11% from 2020 to 2026
Asia Pacific E-Learning Market Size by 2026Exceeds USD$90 billion
Top countries for remote learners on Coursera (2021)US and India
Increase in EU citizens taking online courses (2021)Ireland
Predicted size of eLearning market in India by 2026$8.6 billion USD
Expected growth of European eLearning market (next 5 years)$28 billion
Predicted growth rate of German e-learning market (through 2028)22%
European frontrunner in eLearning marketGermany
Expected growth of India’s online education market by 2024$14.33 billion

Online Learning Platform Statistics

Online learning platforms have revolutionised education by offering flexible access to diverse courses and resources. Prominent platforms like Coursera and Udemy provide self-paced learning, interactive elements, and personalised recommendations. They eliminate geographical barriers, making education accessible worldwide. These platforms continue to evolve, providing engaging and affordable learning opportunities for all, making it virtually impossible to run out of content to learn.

Coursera new student registrations in 202120 million
Most popular elearning platformUdemy with over 50 million students
Coursera learners rating their course as 5-star81%
Scholarships offered by Udacity and AWS to women and underrepresented groups425
Average monthly earnings of top teachers at SkillshareAround $3,000
Rumoured payment for MasterClass celebrity instructors$100,000 upfront
+ 30% of class revenue
Free annual memberships distributed by MasterClass to underserved communities since 2019345,000+
Free annual memberships distributed by Lewis Hamilton in collaboration with MasterClass200,000
Gender distribution on Mindvalley49.84% males
50.16% females
Largest age group of Mindvalley visitors25-34 year olds
Coursera courses with the highest completion rateOne-month long courses
Quarter of MasterClass students reporting life-changing impactYes
Number of learners using massively open online courses (MOOCs)Over 180 million
Carbon footprint reduction due to e-learningOver 80%
Energy reduction and CO2 emission comparison between e-learning and face-to-face training90% less energy
85% less CO2 per person
Second most popular eLearning platformTeachable
Most popular course platform in IndiaTata Interactive Systems
Increase in Udemy student enrolments in late March 2020 compared to the previous month425%
Year-on-year growth in mental health and wellness course consumption on UdemyOver 1,000%
Increase in listening skills consumption in the software and technology industry compared to 20193,210%
LinkedIn Learning: Number of courses and subscription optionsOver 16,000 courses:
Monthly $29.99 
Annual $239.88
Coursera: Number of users and partnerships with other learning institutions23 million users
Partnerships with other institutions
Skillshare: Number of users and coursesAround 4 million users
About 24,000 courses
edX: Number of online courses and partnershipsOver 8,000 online courses
Partnerships with institutions

Higher Education Statistics

Online learning has transformed higher education by providing flexible and accessible learning opportunities. Universities and colleges offer online courses and degree programs, allowing students to balance education with other commitments. Online learning fosters interactive and collaborative experiences, reaching a broader audience globally, with the benefit of allowing students to complete a full-time or part-time degree.

Challenges to providing a correct degree course include maintaining academic standards and ensuring access to resources. Online learning revolutionises higher education, offering flexibility, accessibility, and interactive learning experiences.

Number of institutions that shifted to remote learning in Spring 2020Close to 4,000
Percentage of educational institutions investing in online learning in 202063%
Percentage of US schools planning to operate completely online in 202175%
Percentage of college students using mobile devices for online learning67%
Number of students enrolled in online colleges in 20202.8 million (15% of all college students)
Majority of online course usersHighly educated users with a traditional degree
Percentage of online school-related course takers aged 5 to 173.1%
Percentage of MOOC users with a degree79%
Percentage of MOOC users with a postgraduate degree44%

Online Course Creator Statistics

Online learning content creators develop engaging and informative materials for digital education. They have expertise in their fields and use multimedia and interactive elements to enhance learning while earning an income. Content creators adapt to new technologies, seek feedback, and ensure quality. Their work is essential in providing compelling online learning experiences.

Percentage of course creators spending 3 months or longer
creating their courses
Increase in Teachable content creators earning 6 figures in
Increase in Teachable instructors generating 7-figure revenue
from courses
Average price of a sold course on Podia$137
Percentage of online courses focused on technology19.3%
Completion rate of paid courses compared to free onesHigher completion rate for paid courses
Cost range to create an online course$144 to $10,800

Pros And Cons

Online learning has transformed education, offering learners flexible and accessible opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills. While it presents numerous advantages, such as flexibility and diverse course options, it also has drawbacks. Exploring the pros and cons of online learning is crucial to shedding light on its benefits and the challenges learners may face in this digital learning environment.

Industry & Academic ExpertsNo in-person lectures
AffordableHard to focus
Self-PacedLack of interaction
FlexibleTechnical difficulties

The facts and statistics surrounding online learning demonstrate its significant impact on education, providing the option for distance learning and allowing learners to access knowledge from anywhere in the world. The flexibility, affordability, and diverse course offerings have made online learning popular for students of all ages.

However, challenges such as needing reliable technology and maintaining engagement and interaction should be noticed. As online learning continues to evolve and improve, it promises to play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping the future of education, providing new avenues for learning and professional development.


Cooke, C. (2023) Online learning statistics: Everything you need to know in 2023, Upskillwise. Available at: (Accessed: 23 June 2023).

Rungta, K. (2023) 100+ must know online learning statistics in 2023, Guru99. Available at: (Accessed: 23 June 2023).

Todorov, A.G. and Georgi TodorovGeorgi Todorov is the founder of ThriveMyWay (2023) Best facts and statistics about online learning 2023, Learn Digital Marketing. Available at: (Accessed: 23 June 2023).

26+ fascinating elearning statistics & facts (2023) (2023) Findstack. Available at: (Accessed: 23 June 2023).

Online learning statistics: The ultimate list in 2023: Devlin Peck (no date) RSS. Available at: (Accessed: 23 June 2023).

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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