A recently released, IAMAI-KANTAR report ‘Internet in India’ shows a tremendous increase in Internet users in rural India. According to the survey, there are currently 692 million active internet users in India, with rural India continuing to lead the way in terms of growth (351 million users with 37 per cent penetration), as urban India appears to have reached a plateau (341 million users with 69 per cent penetration). The report projects that by 2025, India would have 900 million internet users, with rural growth driving this increase. Among the states, Goa and Bihar have the highest and lowest internet usage penetration rates, respectively.
More significantly for Indian internet businesses, 346 million Indians engage in genuine online transactions like e-commerce and digital payments, which is higher than the estimated 331 million US population. The country recorded a 51 per cent surge in digital transactions during Covid-19 pandemic, from 230 million in 2019.
In terms of gender distribution, male internet users outnumber female users in India, with about the same gender ratios across urban and rural users.
Currently, 762 million Indians, 63 per cent of whom live in rural areas, have not yet received internet services. The key obstacle, coupled with ignorance, is still ‘difficulty to understand the Internet’ persisting, especially in rural India.
The ‘Internet in India’ report, based on the ICUBE 2021 study, is an annual report that is the oldest and most thorough study of internet usage in the nation. It covers around 77,000 households throughout India’s states and union territories (apart from Lakshadweep). Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and KANTAR, a global leading marketing and data analytics organisation, worked together for conducting the survey.
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