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Indian Internet Usage: Interesting statistics and analysis

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I came across a snapshot of report ‘India Online 2007‘ released by Juxtconsult recently. The report gives details on the study carried out to understand the Internet users in India. Some of the findings that were listed really surprised me. I will have a look at the few interesting findings that were part of the snapshot published by them.

These findings are based on feedback from few thousand people from different geographies and various population sizes. I think the foot print of people surveyed is not too big, so there may be a margin of error on all India basis.

India Online 2007

Let us analyze some of the interesting findings.

Only 37% of Indian Internet users come from Top 10 cities

This was my biggest surprise. My estimation was that 90% of Internet users come from top 10 cities. Imagine that none of the 63% Internet users are from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat and Nagpur. I am saying this because, if I do traffic analysis for my blog, more than 97% of the readers come from these top 10 cities. This is based on approx 27,000 visits I have received from India since last month. You could argue that Blogs are read by only urban population. But that reasoning will not hold true because majority of my traffic does comes from search engine (approx. 85%), so they do not know whether it is a blog or a site. They are just searching for information.

Only 41% prefer to read English

Another surprise to me. More than half of Indian people do not like reading English when on the net. I am again not too sure of this. If that was the case, portals like Rediff, Indiatimes, Sify and hundreds of other sites would have invested in having a localized language versions. Imagine the kind of traffic growth that they would have had. I am not saying that there are people who would like to read only English, but most users would prefer that.

77% of users accessing from homes use a broadband or superior connection

I cannot really debate this number due to lack of information. But it still surprises me a lot. Till first quarter of this year broadband penetration in India was less than 10%. As of April 2007, only 2.5 million subscribers out of 30 million subscribers had broadband connections and they were mostly NOT Home users.

51% of users accessed dating / friendship sites

This is quite amazing. More than 50% users accessing dating / friendship sites. That means more than 15 million users have accessed these sites. In the same survey they have mentioned that ‘19 to 35 years age groups account for only 67% of the internet users?’. I estimate most of these age group users to be the ones accessing it. If that is true, do the maths. 15 million out of 20 million people access dating sites- A whooping 75% – How many of you access it?

I do appreciate the effort Juxtconsult has put into doing this research. However, it is of paramount importance that we look at the numbers from holistic perspective. India is an extremely diverse country and gap between rural and urban population and their habits are hugely different.

I would love to hear what readers have to say and if they agree with the analysis that I have done here. There are surely few other findings that I do not completely agree with and I plan to cover them in one of the posts in coming week.

Please take a poll to let me know your agreement on this analysis. (You may not see the poll if you are reading this through email or feed reader. Please click here to take poll)

  1. ANISH says

    Hi,

    Would appreciate ,if you Plz provide the authenticity of the data or source of your information to justify your methodology of numbers..to be honest i am not finding these number legitimate and biased…..

  2. Abhijit says

    One of the surveys i had seen suggested that India penetration levels was just 3.8% in terms of Internet usage, is that a correct estimate by any standards

  3. Pavan says

    How many internet users are there in Karnataka ??

  4. Parminder says

    That thing about local languages and about 77% home users using broadband is pure bull crap… its not possible not even anywhere near the mark they have said it is.

        I did see a huge advertising campaign a few days ago from juxt and thats where I guess there data came from.. I very much doubt the outcomes and I suggest they need to do some more homework and come out with a better and more realistic approach towards collecting data.

       Take it for granted that techies never clicked on their advert and never took part in the survey as it said win 25k and all that… so its a special class of netizens who took part in the survery especially those who wanted to win that 25k which was being advertised.

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  6. Pratap says

    Buddy,

    I am one the fools, who is spending more than a lakh to conduct a similar survey. Can you help me in getting more authentic statistics? I don’t mind paying for it. After all, I have to pay someone.

    If you are interested, I will send you my set of questions. All the questions are specific to Pune city.

  7. Jolie says

    hi i enjoyed the read

  8. trakin says

    Manoj,
    I understand your anger completely. I remember just last year when I was in Pune, more than 50% time my broadband (cable internet) connection was down. And when it was up…I never got the speed in double digits, whereas here in US I get triple digit downloads everytime…
    Thats what I said…The survey and ground reality do not match at any level !

  9. Manoj says

    I find the whole thing wrong. I lived in bangalore and I had to struggle to get a good broadband connection. Also most of the people in India think that broadband means always on, not necessarily the “broad” band.

    “77% of users accessing from homes use a broadband or superior connection”
    A big lie, I don’t think its true even for Bangalore, forget whole India.
    I think its justified that you’re surprised by the result, I’m not justified but I’m angry about the wrong numbers too.

  10. trakin says

    Sumedh, I agree with you.
    In most cases findings based on a survey is as good as an individual’s guess.
    The cases when these are accurate are, when the respondent does not know that he is a part of survey. However, Sometimes it is accurate, like in case of Internet Usage. It is captured from ISP’s etc. and not individual survey.

  11. Sumedh says

    I strongly doubt these surveys…I think I’ve filled up this survey’s form…some guy captured me while roaming on FC road, Pune…and he himself didn’t have slightest of the idea about internet…

    But I just asked him to randomly select some options (it was a 10 page form…no person with slightest of work to do would fill it up free of charge)…and signed it with my cell number (of course fake :) )…

    And this is the way it usually happens on the ground…

    So, I feel instincts matter a lot more, at least in the market & industry like ours…which is till very immature…numbers will start to matter once we have a more visibility…

    God knows who pays INR 1 lakh for such a report…god bless them… :)

  12. trakin says

    Indian Blogger,
    Here is the methodology that they have stated…
    The stats were arrived based on following:
    1) Land survey undertaken in April 2007. Sampled 10,000 households in 31 cities of various population sizes (population size of 20,000 plus) across all the 4 regions of the country.
    2) A large-scale online survey conducted in May 2007. Sampled over 14,200 complete responses capturing net usage behavior and website preferences.
    3) To ensure representative sample, online survey conducted using Yahoo and Rediff email properties as well as Google search ads.
    4) Use of only authentic Govt. of India data for estimation of user-ship and deriving the representation ‘weights’.

  13. Indian Blogger says

    What is the sample size for the research. !

    1. vmot says

      i dont think you should be so surprised by the fact that only “41% prefer to read english”. 37% come from top 10 cities, major english speaking population is in the top 10 cities, people out side that could prefer to read local languages..

      97% of your blog visitors are from the top 10 cities. you cannot use this to argue the previous point.. readers of your blog could all be the ones who like the english internet(37%) and hence are the major chunk reading your blog..

      Having said that, i do not have any details about the sample considered, so i could be wrong too..

  14. Balakumar Muthu says

    Great informations, thanks for sharing

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