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 :)