India is on track to overtake the U.S. in its number of Internet users. Quartz quotes from a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, a market research firm, that by December, India will have 402 million internet users, of which 351 million will go online daily. This is a 49% increase as compared to 2014.
“While internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and three years from 100 to 200 million, it took only a year to move from 300 to 400 million users,” the IAMAI statement said.
Smartphones, and an increase in rural users – the fastest growing group of Internet consumers – are the main reasons for much of this dramatic growth. Among metros, Mumbai has the highest number of active internet users, while Surat, in Gujarat leads among tier II locales.
TechCrunch adds some other interesting nuggets of information: people aged between 18 and 30 represent 76 percent of rural Internet users, with smartphone-based users growing from 38 percent of rural users to a majority 60 percent.
Overall, males account for 71 percent of India’s Internet users, according to the report. Web usage among males is increasing at a rate of 50 percent, versus 46 percent for women. In rural areas, the growth in Internet access is higher among men (79 percent) than women (61 percent), but in urban areas, a higher ratio of women are coming online than men, 43 percent and 34 percent respectively.