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Urban women drive internet growth in India

The surge in internet users in India is undeniable with the consumer base close to 250 million users from 165 million, a year ago. A study commissioned by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) stated that women in the urban areas are the major drivers for internet growth in India.

The study suggests that internet penetration in rural areas of India continues to struggle. According to the IAMAI-IMRB ‘Internet in India’ report, female internet users grew 30 per cent as against 25 per cent among the male population.

Industry experts say that better internet connectivity in rural areas is expected to multiply the numbers in the next few years. The current trend is promising and if it continues, the skewed ratio between men and women stands a chance of being going through a transformation in the near future.

If we further segregate this data, among the female community, the population belonging to the college going girls have hiked the internet usage by 62 per cent. Meanwhile, school going girls only contributed a 34 per cent rise. That is not all, internet usage has picked up across all horizons and this is evident from 18 per cent rise among the non-working women group.

However, the growth is lower among working women when compared to other demographic groups at 8 per cent. This suggests that the growth among women users would be driven by college going students and non-working women primarily.

Further, the frequency of accessing the internet services also tell us a great deal about the consumer behavior in India. According to the report, 60 per cent of working women access the internet daily while 47 per cent of non-working women access the internet daily.

This survey was conducted across 35 cities with more than 1 million people in India. With Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative and attempt by telecom companies to reach the interiors of the country, internet number are expected to see an uptick in the coming years.