According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and KANTAR, 52 per cent of the population in India, i.e., 759 million are active internet users, accessed the internet at least once a month in 2022. The number is expected to grow to 900 million by 2025. This is for the first time that the majority of Indians have become active internet users.
As per the report titled ‘Internet in India Report 2022’, out of 759 million active internet users in India for 2022, 399 million are from rural India, while 360 million are from urban India, indicating that rural India continues to drive the growth of the internet in the country.
The report highlighted that internet penetration in India is at 71 per cent. In 2022, urban India witnessed a 6 per cent growth in internet penetration, while rural India experienced a 14 per cent increase. The report predicts that 56 per cent of all new internet users in India by 2025 will come from rural areas. Digital Divide, however, continues to plague the positive narrative with a huge disparity in internet penetrations across states, with Bihar (32 per cent) having less than half the level of internet penetration than the leading state Goa (70 per cent). Of all the internet users, 54 per cent are male. However, the report indicates that female users are gaining more access to the internet, with 57 per cent of all new users in 2022 being female. It is projected that the percentage of new female users will increase to 65 per cent by 2025.
Further, the report notes that mobile phones are the primary devices used to access the internet, with 100 per cent of the 759 million users relying on them. However, there has been an increase in the use of other devices, rising from 8 per cent in 2021 to 13 per cent in 2022. The most popular reasons for accessing the internet are digital entertainment, digital communications, and social media. The report also highlights a 51 per cent year-on-year growth in social commerce, suggesting that social media platforms may become new destinations for e-commerce. Also, unified payments interface (UPI) is widely prevalent, with 99 per cent of all digital payment users utilising UPI. Digital payments experienced a 13 per cent growth in 2022 compared to 2021, with a user base of 338 million. Of these users, 36 per cent are from rural India.