Small towns finally making its presence felt on India’s internet map

Diwali is being celebrated from October 25-27 in India. Wishing you all a Happy Diwali.

Yesterday’s press release from IAMAI (in association with IMRB) about India’s internet penetration is very interesting. For those, like me, who live in Tier-1 cities “assume” that most of the metro population is on the net.  Wrong. The findings from the report are,

  • Mumbai has 8.1 million claimed and 6.2 million active internet users.
  • Delhi and NCR for example has only 5 million active users with a population base of 20 million
  • Bangaloreans must be ‘red’ with this news – Kolkata is in the third place and tech city Bangalore is at number six.
  • Towns with less than 2 lakh population collectively returned a much higher number of internet users that the top four metros put together.
Diwali Lamps

Diwali Lamps

The claimed / active internet users city rankings are,

  1. Mumbai: 8.1 m / 6. 2m
  2. Delhi + NCR: 6.2 m / 5.0 m
  3. Kolkota: 3.0 m / 2.4 m
  4. Chennai: 2.9 m / 2.2 m
  5. Hyderabad: 2.2 m / 1.8 m
  6. Bangalore: 2.2 m / 1.7 m
  7. Ahmedabad: 2.0 m / 1.7 m
  8. Pune: 1.9 m / 1.2 m

Rest of India (claimed / active)

  1. Small Metros: 14.3 m / 11.6 m
  2. Non-Metros: 9.0 m / 7.4 m
  3. Small Towns: 9.1 m / 7.5 m
  4. Towns with less than 200,000 population: 21. 0 m / 16.1 m

The report says the internet usage is dominated by the age group 18-35 years, with college students, young men and working women being the lead users.

While Medianama reported the decline in the growth in Karnataka (nothing to do with the great political situation we have in Karnataka), I am surprised Bangalore is in the sixth position, that to behind Kolkota. Makes me red (even though the Left are gone in West Bengal).

According to the Information Economy Report, 2011, released last week by the United Nations, Internet penetration in India is abysmal—less than 10 in 100 Indians access it, whereas in the US the ratio is four out of five; though the good news is that the proportion of Internet users more than doubled from 2.39 per 100 inhabitants in 2005 to 7.50 in 2010.

The good news is about the usage of internet in non-Tier-1 cities. This will further increase once they know the internet has sufficient content in Indian languages to keep them busy.

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