Updated February 29th, 2024 at 13:43 IST

India Shining: Out of 821 Million Internet Users, 53 Per Cent In Villages

The rural India has asserted its dominance, boasting 442 million active internet users last year, outpacing urban internet users at 378 million.

Reported by: Nandini Verma
Representative | Image:Unsplash
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India's digital landscape continues to evolve, with a staggering total of 821 million internet users, 53% of whom hail from rural areas. These revelations stem from a collaborative report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and marketing data firm Kantar. Significantly, the report unveils that rural India boasts 442 million active internet users, surpassing the urban counterpart of 378 million. This data underscores a remarkable shift in internet adoption trends, spotlighting rural India's extraordinary growth rate of 78% over the past year.

In 2023, India witnessed a significant increase in internet users, with the number rising to 821 million compared to 759 million in the previous year. Rural areas experienced an impressive growth rate of 78% over the past year, with shared device usage for internet access being more prevalent there than in urban settings.

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Another noteworthy trend highlighted in the report is the increasing preference for accessing internet content in Indic languages, with 57% of internet users in urban India showing a preference for Indic language content.

90% of internet users spend an average of 1.5 hours online daily

The report highlighted that 90% of internet users access the internet daily, spending an average of 1.5 hours online. While activities such as e-commerce, digital payments, and online learning are more common in urban areas, activities like over-the-top (OTT) content consumption, communication, social media engagement, and online gaming are becoming increasingly popular in rural regions.

Interestingly, the report noted that only 26% of Indians opt for cash on delivery while shopping online, with the majority preferring digital modes of payment. However, nearly 71% of digital payment users reside in urban areas.

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One of the standout findings of the report was that 86% of internet users, totaling 707 million people, have subscribed to OTT audio and video services, making it the top internet use case in the country. Additionally, around 76% of users utilize the internet for communication purposes, 70% for social media engagement, and 53% for online gaming.

Furthermore, the report highlighted the surge in the adoption of digital entertainment services, driven by non-traditional devices such as smart TVs, smart speakers, Firestick, and Chromecast. The rise of these devices has seen a remarkable growth of 58% across the country between 2021 and 2023.

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Published February 29th, 2024 at 13:40 IST