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Internet users in India expected to reach 500 million by June: IAMAI

Rural India, with an estimated population of 918 million as per 2011 census, has only 186 million internet users leaving out potential 732 million users in rural India.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2018, 06.15 PM IST
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Rural internet penetration has grown from 18% last December to 20.26% in December 2017.
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The number of internet users in India is expected to reach 500 million by June 2018, said a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Kantar IMRB on Tuesday. The number of Internet users stood at 481 million in December 2017, an increase of 11.34% over December 2016 said the report titled, "Internet in India 2017."

Urban India with an estimated population of 455 million already has 295 million using the internet. Rural India, with an estimated population of 918 million as per 2011 census, has only 186 million internet users leaving out potential 732 million users in rural India.

"Given that total Urban Population is much lower than total rural population, the Urban-Rural Digital divide is actually more acute than what the penetration numbers portray.The future growth policies therefore must focus on bridging the digital divide that exists between urban and rural India today," the report added.

Internet penetration in Urban India was 64.84% in December 2017 as compared to 60.6% last December. In comparison, rural Internet penetration has grown from 18% last December to 20.26% in December 2017.

The report also finds that an estimated 281 Million daily Internet users, out of which 182.9 million or 62% access internet daily in urban area, as compared to only 98 million users or 53%, in rural India. There are estimated 143 million Female internet users overall, which is approximately 30% of Total Internet users. "While Digital India is paving its way in rural India, the underlining digital gender gap still persists. Digital literacy is therefore a key to ensure everyone stays informed, engaged and safe online," it added.

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