The unusual growth in the number of Internet users in India is likely to hit 402 million mark by December 2015, said an ambitious estimate by IAMAI, which means a whopping 49 percent growth over 2014 figure.
The report ‘Internet in India 2015’, jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International on Wednesday said India took more than a decade to move from a mere 10 million to 100 million but just 3 years to double the number from 100 to 200 million. However, in just one year, it moved from 300 to 400 million users, it said.
While the industry is going to be upbeat from the buoyant number, the figures need scrutiny since mobile users have scant opportunity to use internet in vast stretches of rural India, which account for nearly half of the population.
“Clearly, Internet is main stream in India today. And the large internet users base is definitely a good news for the overall growth of the digital industry,” said the report.
Interestingly, the figures show constant numbers being doubled without any empirical or scietific explanation. While the October figure of 375 million internet users in India was questioned by many. the fact that the number merely added 27 million or 2.7 crore in three months time based on extrapolation.
Last year too, IAMAI estimated similar figures and at the end of the three-year period, it just added up the number without giving scientific explanation. This year too, the figures in their next report will show somewhere in the range of 400 million without any doubt, going by the past estimates by IAMAI.
Otherwise, some interesting facts gleaned from the report show that India has the third largest internet users’ base currently and will overtake the United states by December but trail behind China, which has more than 600 million internet users, said the report.
According to the report, 71% male and 29% female are Internet users in the country and gender-based figures show that the usage among males has been growing at a rate of 50% while it is growing at 46% for female users.
In terms of urban-rural divide too, the ratio between male to female Internet users is 62:38, said the report, adding that female users are growing at a rate of 39% compared to 28% among males.
Among the Rural Internet users, 88% are males though it said female users are growing at 61% compared to 79% among males. Age-wise, 75% of the rural internet users belong to the age group of 18-30 years, 11% are in the age group of less than 18 years, while 8% belong to 31-45 years age group.
Not surprisingly, the report finds that 32% of the users are College Going Students followed by 26% Young Men. 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, it said in a wishful estimation.
The report said the figures are based on a survey of 35 cities and said 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.