Monday, May 19, 2008

49 Mn Indians log on to Internet in 2008

Internet users in India have risen to over 49 million this year. Urban users account for a bulk of it, 40 million, with rural net users numbering 9 million. Regular net users, defined as anyone accessing the net at least once a month, number around 35 million (30-million urban and 5-million rural), says online research & advisory firm JuxtConsult's 'India Online 2008' - an offline survey of over 12,500 households across 40 cities and 160 villages countrywide to gauge the online behavior of Indians.

The data indicate that every one in 10 urban Indians (12 percent) is now net connected. And interestingly, over 70 percent Internet users prefer to access the net in Indian languages, with English users dwindled down to 28 percent from 41 percent in 2007.
Internet penetration (as percent of population) has crossed double-digit mark in urban India at 12 percent, up 3 percent from 9 percent last year, and rural penetration stands at 4.5 percent,

India?s net user demographics cuts evenly across socio-economic class (SEC) A, B and C, and extends beyond metros (which account for under a third, 30 percent, of all users now, down 6 percent from 2007?s 36 percent). A majority, over three-fourths of users (77 percent), are between 19 to 35 years of age, up 10 percent from 2007.
Surprisingly women account for less than a fifth, just 17.6 percent, of the 49 million odd Indian netizens. The females' net representation is just marginally higher for urban India at 18.2 percent.

The survey says that over half of all net users (51 percent) in the country are salaried employees in the corporate world. The number of urban netizens has increased by 33 percent in the last one year, from 30 million to 40 million. Of the total number of urban users, 75 percent (30 million) are regular urban users while rest, 25 percent (10-million), are occasional users.

The democratisation of the net continues, with higher SECs A and B now accounting for just over 50 percent of all users, down 6 percent from last year?s figure of 56 percent. In contrast, lower SEC C, D and E in urban areas now account for around half of all users. It's same in rural areas too, with the top two rural SECs R1 and R2 accounting for just 41 percent with the rest coming in from the bottom-of-the-pyramid consumer in SEC R3, R4 and R5.

Every one in two urban net users (48 percent) comes from a household with monthly household income (MHI) of Rs 10,000 plus, though under a quarter, 24 percent of 9-million odd rural users have MHI higher than Rs 10,000. South India contributes the largest share of Internet users at 33 percent, with East under-represented at just 15 percent.

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