New Delhi, November 18, 2015: The number of Internet users in India is expected to reach 402 million by December 2015, registering a growth of 49% over last year, according to a report ‘Internet in India 2015’, jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.
While Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and 3 years from 100 to 200 million, it took only a year to move from 300 to 400 million users.
In October 2015, there were 375 million internet users in India. Currently, India has the third largest internet users’ base in the word but it is estimated that by December, India will overtake the US as the second largest Internet users’ base in the world. China currently leads with more than 600 million internet users. This makes India the second largest internet user’s base in the world behind China, but is ranked first as the largest internet users in a free market democratic setup.
According to the report, 71% male and 29% female are Internet users in India. The Internet usage among males has been growing at a rate of 50% while it is growing at 46% for female users. However, in Urban India, the ratio between male to female Internet users is 62:38. Significantly, Internet users among females are growing at a rate of 39% compared to 28% among males.
Among the Rural Internet users, 88% are males. The Internet users among females are growing at 61% and 79% among males. 75% of the rural internet users belong to the age group of 18-30 years. Another 11% are in the age group of <18 years, while 8% belong to 31-45 years age group.
The report finds that 32% of the users are college going students followed by 26% young men. Among female Internet users, the highest growth has been among the non-working women. This segment has grown by 97% over last year. This is followed by school going girls (36% growth) and college going girls (26% growth).
Significantly, there has been a huge spurt in the number of people accessing internet on a daily basis in urban India. As on October 2015, 69% of Users are using Internet on a daily basis. This daily user base has gone up by 60% from last year. However, the high frequency usage is not restricted to only the youth and college going students; this habit of accessing the Internet daily can be seen among other demographic segments as well including older men and non-working women. 75% of working women access Internet daily. 37% of the male internet users are daily users whereas only 23% of the female internet users are accessing internet daily. 75% of internet users among both genders access internet at least once a week.
The findings of the report further reveal that in urban India, the mobile Internet user base has grown at a rate of 65% over last year to reach 197 million in October 2015. Mobile Internet users have surged to 80 million by October 2015 growing at 99% over last year. The user base of Mobile Internet users in rural India is expected to reach 87 million by December 2015 and 109 million by June 2016.
Interestingly, the report also reveals that out of all the Internet non-users surveyed in the 35 cities as part of this study, 11.4 million non-users are willing to access the Internet in the next one year and over 2/3rd of them intend to do so through mobile phones.