Internet penetration in rural India has grown 37% year-on-year (YoY) clocking 351 Mn active users in 2021
The ICUBE 2021 report named ‘Internet in India’ covered over 77,000 Indian households across all states and Union Territories except Lakshadweep
In 2021, Indian Internet users widely used the internet for entertainment, communications and social media, the report said
Internet penetration in rural India has grown 37% year-on-year (YoY) clocking 351 Mn active users in 2021. On the other hand, internet usage in urban cities of India has slightly grown at a mere 2% YoY to 341 Mn active users in the corresponding period, as per a ICUBE 2021 study, conducted by IAMAI and KANTAR.
The ICUBE 2021 report named ‘Internet in India’ covered over 77,000 Indian households across all states and Union Territories except Lakshadweep.
The report anticipates that the number of active internet users in India will grow to 900 Mn by 2025, owing to the growth of rural internet users. The report further revealed that Goa witnessed the highest internet penetration among all Indian states in 2021 while, on the flip side, Bihar saw the lowest internet penetration rate.
The report said, out of the 692 Mn active internet users in India, nearly 346 Mn users made digital transactions for online businesses during the last year (2021). Owing to the pandemic, digital transactions grew by 51% in the last two years (2019 and 2020).
Sharing gender-specific results, the report further indicated that there were more male internet users than female users in the country in 2021.
Internet-Based Communication Likely To Grow In Rural Users
In 2021, Indian users widely used the internet for entertainment, communications and social media, according to the report. Of this, communication activities including voice and Indic languages are likely to be key drivers for rural internet users growth.
“The penetration of OTT services in rural India is at par with that in urban India, however, the penetration of other digital services such as online gaming, digital commerce and digital payments is still skewed in favour of urban users,” the report said.
A Large Indian Demographic Still Don’t Have Access To The Internet
Despite recording an increased internet penetration among Indian users in 2021, about 762 Mn of them comprising 63% of rural Indians still do not have internet access.
‘Difficulty to understand and use the Internet’ along with lack of awareness has been considered to be one of the prime reasons that dissuade people, particularly rural natives from using the internet.
Disinterest in using the internet, inability to afford an internet connection and internet-enabled devices, and considering internet usage a time-consuming task were some of the other reasons that users shared for not using the internet.