tech2 News Staff Feb 21, 2018 14:13 PM IST
Despite improved internet penetration and an estimated 481 million internet users in the country as of December 2017, India's internet user market still seems far from having bridged the gender gap.
Recent findings by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in a report has brought out a worrying statistic which puts total female internet users at just 30 percent of the total users. According to the report titled, ‘Internet in India 2017' female users accounted for an estimated 143 million, in comparison to 338 million male users.
Based on the report prepared along with Kantar IMRB, both urban and rural population of the country have witnessed a growth in users since December 2016. Despite the growth, the gender ratio in urban as well as rural spaces seems to be tilted towards males. The current gender ratio stands at 59:41 in urban India and 64:36 in rural spaces.
The report does, however, state that there is a steady improvement in the proportion of female users in rural India which suggests that there is an increase in gender parity. There is a long way yet to go in the rural space though.
The report also states that rural internet penetration has grown by 2.26 percent while urban penetration improved by 4.24 percent in December 2017. There is a catch here as given that the total urban population is much lower than the total rural population in the country, the digital divide is also more acute than what the penetration numbers suggest.
Stacked up against 2011 Census numbers, rural India, with an estimated population of 918 million has a total of only 186 million internet users. This reveals that a potential 732 million users are yet to be reached.
In terms of other parameters calculated as part of the report, IAMAI finds that students and young professionals account for as much as 60 percent of all internet users in India. Working women held 9 percent of the total usership while non-working women accounted for 15 percent of the total.