India’s Internet user base to touch 402 mn by December, surpassing U.S.

The Internet usage among males has been growing at a rate of 50 per cent while it is growing at 46 per cent for female users.  

The number of Internet users in India is expected to touch 402 million by December, a 49 per cent jump over last year, making India home to the second largest online user base after China, according to a report released by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.

India, which currently has the third largest Internet user base in the world after China and the U.S., had about 375 million Internet users in October. By December, India is expected to overtake the U.S. and also will become the first country to have largest Internet users in a free market democratic setup, according to the report released on Tuesday.

China leads the pack with more than 600 million Internet users. While Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and 3 years from 100 to 200 million, it took only a year to move from 300 to 400 million users, as per the report.

According to the report, 71 per cent male and 29 per cent female are Internet users in India. The Internet usage among males has been growing at a rate of 50 per cent while it is growing at 46 per cent for female users.

However, in Urban India, the ratio between male to female Internet users is 62:38. Significantly, Internet users among females are growing at a rate of 39 per cent compared to 28 per cent among males.

Internet users in rural India are expected to reach 117 million by December and 147 million by June 2016 on the back of growing penetration of mobile phones in the country. Rural Internet users witnessed a 77 per cent jump to reach 108 million in October 2015. The number of active mobile Internet users grew about 99 per cent to 80 million by October 2015 and is expected to reach 87 million by December and 109 million by June 2016, the report stated.

Interestingly, the report also reveals that out of all the Internet non-users surveyed in the 35 cities as part of this study, 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.

The IAMAI-IMRB survey was conducted across 35 cities with more than one million population, including eight large metros and smaller cities, including Coimbatore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Ludhiana and Visakhapatnam.