The total number of Indians accessing the internet at least once a month is 759 million, or 52% of the population, and this number is expected to grow to 900 million by 2025, as per a report by IAMAI and Kantar.
The ‘Internet in India Report 2022’, jointly prepared by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Kantar, the marketing data and analytics company, reflects these data.
The report also shows that out of 759 million ‘active’ internet users in India for 2022, 399 million are from rural India, while the rest are from urban India, indicating that rural India continues to drive the growth of internet.
Urban India, with approximately 71% internet penetration, witnessed only 6% growth, while much of the overall gain in numbers came from rural India - which witnessed 14% growth rate over the past one year.
The report predicts that 56% of all new internet users in India will be from rural India by 2025.
Digital Divide, however, continues to plague the positive narrative with a huge disparity in internet penetrations across states, with Bihar (32%) having less than half the level of internet penetration than the leading state Goa (70%), as per the report.
Even though the gender divide persists till date with 54% Male users, 57% of all new users in 2022 were females. It is estimated that by 2025, 65% of all new users will be women, which will help correct the gender divide.
The report suggests that digital penetration has improved not only in terms of spread but also in terms of depth. For instance, while 100% of users access the internet via mobile, the use of Other Devices (tablets, streaming devices, ‘smart’ devices) has witnessed a considerable rise over one year (from 8% in 2021 to 13% in 2022) as Indians adopt new technologies and services.
In terms of usage, digital entertainment, digital communications and social media continue to be the most popular services in India. The report says that Indians are fast adapting social media platforms as the next e-commerce destination, with 51% YoY growth in social commerce.
Digital payments has witnessed 13% growth over 2021 to reach an estimated 338 million users, of which 36% are from rural India, and 99% of all digital payment users are UPI users.