India now has 759 million 'active' internet users, accessing the web at least once a month, and the figure is set to reach 900 million by 2025, a report showed on Wednesday.
From the current 'active' internet user base in 2022, 399 million are from rural India while 360 million are from urban areas, indicating that rural India continues to drive the growth of the internet in the country, according to the report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and data and analytics company Kantar.
Even though the gender divide persists with 54 per cent male users, "it is heartening to note that 57 per cent of all new users in 2022 were females."
"It is estimated that by 2025, 65 per cent of all new users will be women, which will help correct the gender divide," the report mentioned.
Urban India, with approximately 71 per cent internet penetration witnessed only 6 per cent growth, with much of the overall gain in numbers coming from rural India which witnessed 14 per cent growth rate over the past one year.
It is estimated that 56 per cent of all new internet users in India will be from rural India by 2025.
"Digital Divide, however, continues to plague the positive narrative with a huge disparity in internet penetrations across states, with Bihar (32 per cent) having less than half the level of internet penetration than the leading state Goa (70 per cent)," the report mentioned.
In terms of usage, digital entertainment, digital communications and social media continue to be the most popular services in India.
In fact, Indians are fast adapting social media platforms as the next e-commerce destination, with a staggering 51 per cent YoY growth in social commerce.