tech

India has more internet users in rural areas than urban: IAMAI report

IAMAI’s latest report states that as of November 2019, there were 227 million active internet users in rural areas out of a total of 504 in India.

Rural India gained around 30 million internet users since last March.
Rural India gained around 30 million internet users since last March. (Bloomberg)

Internet users in rural areas surpassed those in urban areas for the first time, according to the 'Digital in India' report by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). As of last November, there were 227 million active internet users in rural areas which is 10% more than around 205 million in urban areas. In total, India had 504 million active internet users.

The report showed that in rural India, the number of people actively accessing the internet on a daily basis increased by 30 million since March last year. However, the time spent on the internet is higher in urban India compared to the rural areas. Almost 70% of the active internet users in India are daily users where nine out of 10 in urban India access it at least once a week, the report added.

Accessibility to affordable devices and cheap data plans were a major boost behind the growth of India's internet users. Also, the preferred device for accessing the internet was mobile in both urban and rural areas.

The report also added that around one-third of the users access the internet for over an hour during Sundays and holidays as compared to a normal week day.

Another highlight from the report is that the increase in female internet users (26 million) was more than that of male internet users. It was an increase of 21% which is much higher than the 9% increase in male internet users.