52 Million Active Internet Users in India – rural India overtakes Urbanites ! [report]


We are a country of Billion People and we have measly 52 million active users according the yearly report – I-Cube – released jointly by Internet & Mobile Association of India(IAMAI) and IMRB.


Overall, 71 million users accessed Internet in year 2009, with 52 Million “active” users who accessed it atleast once in a month.


Internet Subscriber Growth

Although, the growth shows a healthy 20% increase from September 2008 to September 2009- from 57 million users to 71 million Internet users, in larger perspective this is really nothing to boast of.

To put things in perspective, we are adding close to 15 million mobile users on average in a month, while in case of Internet it is 14 million users a year. Off course, it is not fair to compare the two, but this will just tell you how slowly Internet is gaining traction.


Geographical Internet Growth Distribution

I think the only silver lining in this iCube report is the growth of Internet is taking place in rural areas.

Small towns contributed to only 5% of internet usage in year 2000, which over a period of 9 years has grown to healthy 36% and for the first time has overtaken the Internet usage in Urban areas !


Young Population driving Internet Growth

There are no surprises here – Youth in India is getting hooked on to Internet – The older generation is not and are still staying away from it.

School & College students itself contribute to more than 44% of all Internet usage that happens in India – Overall 72% of young people access Internet on regular basis.


Internet Access Points: Cyber Cafe’s still popular

Contrary to my belief, the popularity of cyber cafe’s has not come down at all, infact, Cyber cafes account for maximum Internet usage with over 37% of all users accessing Internet through cyber cafes.


Purpose of Accessing Internet

Even today majority of all Internet users log on to Internet to Check mail, or search for generic information – with over 87% users checking mail and 80% for general information search. Surprisingly, the report does not mention any statistics on social media usage.


I think the heartening factor here is that there is over 30% rise in users who log on to internet to view multimedia content (From 32% in 2008 to 45% in 2009), which indirectly also means that Internet speeds are getting better in India :)

  1. aysha says

    i’m a research scholar pursuing study in net banking .. found the study really helpful .. looking forwad to receive such vital infos…….

  2. Manbodh Tripathi says

    its very amazing that in this IT era our country has 52 million active internet users- rural India overtakes Urbanites.

  3. Santhosh Paul D'Souza says

    very very informative.. nice to hear good things about india.. bharat mata ki jai ho.

  4. Lazar Thanuzraj Stanislaus says

    Very good and informative article on internet users.

  5. Anil says

    India is soon going to rock the world..it is going to occupy the major portion of resource developer too……..

  6. Mohanan Nair says

    The fastest way to increase internet is to deploy more online self serviceapplicaton for government which affects common man. This can also put a check in the corruption rate.

  7. Kartik Sehgal says

    It is about time that internet spread more evenly across India.

  8. Muthu Krishnan says

    India iz on de right track then.

  9. Vinod Sharma says

    Good info

  10. Ekbal Bappukunju says

    Very informative data.

  11. Vasantika Singh says

    Ek tujhse chatting karne ki khatir internet lagwaunga re… dhinka chika dhinka chika ;)! When sallu mia sings it… is there any doubt that it is for the masses?

  12. Nirmal Pathak says

    Even China is way ahead of us.

  13. Shivnarain Singh says

    its good that internet usage is increasing at a healthy rate but overall user count is yet 2 look impressive like mobile connections..

  14. Bireshwar Dey says

    Rural India overtakes urbanites in internet use! Hmm, that's an interesting stat. 2-year-old report, though (which makes this even more interesting)!

  15. Krishnan Rajamuruganandam says

    Like the free mid-day meal scheme in schools which was first launched in TN and now being followed by many states resulted in enrollment increasing in schools. Similarly, the free computers given to college students and being extended to +2 students, would help in millions of internet users surging.

  16. Santosh Sahoo says

    nice article

  17. Indian Jobs says

    Let us say, one computer for every household and four in a family.
    That makes it 300 million maximum computers in India.
    With 52 million now, the potential is huuuge.

  18. himani singh says

    hi everyone .i’m looking up for someone or something that could help me out…………………well i’m just 13 ,but at this age only wanna be a FASHION DESIGNER.”WISH U COUD HELP ME” this is my di’s email address – THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS………………………………………..

  19. oops says

    india govt is not seriously taking Indian economic close , all the countries are more advance than india , even countries like vietnam who lost everything in wars , now its booming , still india lags , only reason is , politicians are not technically educated , to c the country in the way other utilize it , and lot of factors which hurdles in the path of development , fight amoung religion,caste, etc , state , language , behaviour , …group up peoples of indian , and naxalism is still growing ,it shows that , govt is not supporting or helping poor neither govt is try to provide education for poor to kill poverty and illiteracy .
    govt spend lot of money , but all get into scams , that y still india sucks . help u surroundings , y to rely on govt . govt have good constitution but no one follow it .

  20. balaji yadhav says

    I believe the next step of investment should be done in wireless internet.We need an internet revolution just like the Mobile revolution.No one sees the business in internet for all like the mobile for all(we have reached 500 million subscribers in Mobile).Impossible to create wired internet connections when the wired phone connections is itself only around 80 million.But whether internet usage increase will help the economy, the answer is no from the report above that only a miniscule percentage are using it for business.But i have to say that there are probably millions more who are indirectly using the internet through travel booking agencies for rail,air and even bus tickets,there are even net banking agencies,Ministry of Corporate Affairs agencies etc.All of them are not “net consumers” and this report is primarily aimed at looking for potential consumers for various internet businesses which would mean that India has a long way to go for generating revenues from the new medium.

  21. | Balu | says

    I found the definition of ‘active’ (those who go online once a month) a little ridiculous. I would like to know how many Indians go online at least once a week

    1. Geo George says

      Good question -its 70% of the active users going online once or more every week- interstingly 60% go almost every day -5times or more in a week

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