Internet Users in India – (Statistics and Facts) 2021

Internet Users in India – Statistics and Facts 2020

With the internet becoming more and more accessible to people all over the world, daily active users have started to rise rapidly. As smartphones have become cheaper, the digital population, especially in India, has accessed the internet through their mobile phones, even in rural areas, increasing the percentage of total internet users in India. The pandemic has also made more and more people access the internet as they stay at home in a locked-down country, desperate not to contract the virus that seems to spread at a rapid rate.

How Many Internet Users in India?

In the year 2020, the number of internet users in India reached 687.6 million

In 2020, the number of internet users in India stood at approximately 687.6 million.  The Atlas VPN research team estimates that by the year 2025, the number of internet users in India will reach  1 billion.

India has the second biggest internet market in the world

According to data recorded in 2019, India was the runner-up in internet usage. China may be in the lead, but India is close behind. What’s more, the number of internet users in India increased year on year in urban and rural regions, showing that access to the internet continues to rise.

The Internet Penetration Rate in India

The internet penetration rate is calculated by dividing the total active internet users between India by the population of the country.

The internet penetration rate in India in 2020 increased by 50%

The internet penetration in India has spiked, especially when compared to 2007 when it stood at just 4%. 

Today, estimates show that approximately half of the 1.37 billion people in India have access to the internet and have used the net at least once a month. This is a huge increase in comparison to the  19% of Indians using the internet in 2015.

There was a 24% increase in the internet user base from 2015-2020

To understand how fast India’s digital environment is growing, consider the fact that from 2015 to 2020, data consumption in India has increased by an amazing 24%.

India ranks second in terms of global internet users.

Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report shows that currently, 3.8 billion people use the internet across the world. This is more than half of the entire global population! India has the second-largest internet user base and stands at 12%. China is in the lead with 21%, while the United States is trying to keep up with 8%.

Internet Users in India Statistics and Facts- 2021

By 2021, the number of internet users in India will double.

IP traffic in India continues to increase due to the digital transformation that is currently the trend in the country. This means that by 2021, 829 million people will have access to the internet, which includes almost 59% of the country’s population.

In 2021, it is estimated that there will be 400.3 million internet users in India using social media.

Estimates show that by the year 2021, there will be 400.3 million people in India using different social media networks. compared to the 168 million social media users in 2016, this is a tremendous increase.

Demographics of Internet Users in India

Internet Users in India: By Age Group

The youngest online user in India is 5 years old.

Currently, there are approximately 71 million children in India between the ages of 5-11 who use the internetThese children normally access the net through  their family’s active devices. In March 2019, there were 451 million active internet users over the age of five, a number which increased by an  additional 53 million in 2020.

40% of online users in India are in the 25-34 age range

It is not surprising to know that 40% of internet users in India are young, i.e. are between the ages of 15 and 34.. Another 20%, on the other hand,  are aged between 20-24 years. These users add to the live internet stats because of how cheap internet services across India have become and due to the shift to online education and online shopping.

In 2015, the median age for internet users in India was 27 years

Back in 2015, the country’s major internet usage was by those between the age brackets of 25-27. Over the years, India has been trying to increase internet usage among older people by including activities such as online banking, e-commerce, and communication through apps and messaging services into their daily lives .

Time Spent Online in India: By Frequency

Most internet users in India spend 15 minutes to one hour on the internet daily

In 2019, it was reported that most internet users in India spent anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour on the internet every single day, including weekdays, weekends, and holidays. A mere 16% of the respondents said that they spent less than 15 minutes on the internet on weekdays, while 19% said that they spent an equal amount of time on the internet every day of the year.

In 2020, adults spent 30.5% % of their time on the internet

Data consumption in India shows that adults spent approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes daily on the internet in 2020. This means that 69.5% of their time was spent on online media. The remaining 30.5%- approximately 1 hour, 39 minutes – were spent on other digital platforms.

Despite the growth of internet usage, Indian adults still spend most of their time on traditional media. Reports indicate that people in India spend around  3 hours and 45 minutes daily watching TV or other traditional media. By contrast, they spent 1 hour and 39 minutes, or 30.5% of their time, online. 

Rural India Using Internet on Smartphones

Rural India saw a growth of 25% in 2018 as opposed to 9% in 2015 in smartphone users

A report by Indian Cellular and Electronics Associations said that in rural India, there was a 35% growth in the number of internet users, as compared to the 7% growth in urban India. This has been attributed to the rise of smartphone usage  in these areas.

The smartphone base will reach 820 million by 2022

It is expected that in the next two years, smartphone users in India will reach 820 million. A study claimed that this unlocks 80% development in productivity, and it lowers the processing time for e-government services by almost eight times.

The number of smartphone users in India crosses half a billion

A study by Counterpoint Research found that even though there was a washout in April and low overall demand in May due to a ban on imports, India’s domestic market of smartphones increased to “pre-COVID levels” by June 2020. In this rise, Samsung could recover faster than other mobile brands as it claimed 26% of the market share. Xiaomi stayed in the lead, however, grabbing 29% of the market share even though Indian’s are not too happy with China at the moment .

Indian Internet Users by Device Type

India internet users spent 2 hours, 44 minutes every day in 2020 on mobile internet (on average)

It was estimated that internet users’ online users in India would spend 3 hours, 18 minutes on the internet on average every day in 2020. Out of this, 2 hours 44 minutes would be spent on mobile devices. This means that there has been an increase of 12 total minutes from 2019’s estimate. By 2022, it is estimated that the average user will spend more than 3 hours on the internet.

Television was still the biggest media platform in 2020

Even though digital and traditional media have been exploding and are expected to thrive till 2022, digital media is growing at a much rapid pace. In 2020, television was the most significant media platform. It is estimated that by 2021, adults in India will spend 3 hours, 10 minutes watching TV every single day, as compared to the digital video being watched for 31 minutes. However, digital video users who only watch one digital video a year are spending more time on the internet. It is estimated that they will end up spending 2 hours, 25 minutes – 14% of their day – on digital platforms.

Internet Access Technologies in India

Wired vs. Wireless

By the end of December 2019, there were over 1 billion mobile users in India using 4G data

In December 2019, there were over 1 billion mobile users in India. Out of these, most of them used 4G data. That year, the penetration rate was approximately 44% for 4G internet users, while 371 million people had subscribed to Reliance Jio as their service provider in 2019.

Wired internet users in India reached 12 million users in 2019

By June 2019, there were a large number of internet subscribers in India. These users, almost 12 million people, used DSL- one of the most popular wired internet providers during that year.

Average Internet Speed

India’s internet speed is significantly lower than the rest of the world

While the global internet speed has flared to 35.26 Mbps, according to reports from 2020, the average internet speed in India remains at 12.07 Mbps. Despite India’s growing market for cell phones and 4G internet, its data speed remains  unimpressive.

India’s broadband speed is ranked at the 70th position

Even though India has seen an increase of two points from 2019, this year, its broadband speed puts it at the 70th position in the world. All of India’s neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and China have done better in terms of mobile data speed.

India’s mobile upload speed remains at 4.31 Mbps, as compared to the global average of 11.22 Mbps

While the world has reached a current mobile data speed of 11.22 Mbps, along with an approximate median latency of 42ms, India’s average mobile upload speed remains significantly low at 4.31 Mbps, while its latency is at 52ms.

The Rise of Mobile Internet in India

Wireless Subscribers across India

Wireless broadband users in India have reached 654 million

Statistics from January 2020 show that over 654 million wireless broadband subscribers live in India. Back in December 2018, there were only 500 million. Ever since 2016, India has seen a steady rise in broadband subscribers from different areas.

In January 2020, India saw a rise of 1,156 million wireless subscribers

In one year, the number of  wireless subscribers in India has increased to 1 million. While Jio is leading with 376,57 million users, Airtel follows up with 142,334 million users, and Vodafone Idea stays close with 117,93 users.

Mobile Data Traffic in India by Content

In 2017, 70% to 80% of mobile data traffic in India was used for video streaming

In the year 2017, 70% to 80% of the official mobile data in India was used essentially for video streaming. This includes videos on Facebook, Netflix, and other media platforms.

Social media streaming in India increased by 12%

In 2017, there was a 12% increase in mobile data traffic in India because of social media content. This shows that more and more people were spending their time online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms available in the country.

Share of Mobile Applications by Internet

In the third quarter of 2019, it was reported that 85% of mobile internet users in India used messenger

While 85% of users in India used messenger applications in 2019, 84% used different social media applications. That year, lowest traffic was seen on health and fitness applications, along with dating and friendship apps  in India.

Facebook and WhatsApp are used more in India than the rest of the world

The largest media networks, WhatsApp and Facebook, are used the most in India as opposed to the rest of the  world. India is the second-largest country for the largest internet traffic on another social media application called Instagram. From all the social media platforms, Facebook stands out. Since it owns WhatsApp and Instagram, it is the biggest stakeholder in India.

Facebook has attracted over 87% of India’s social media user traffic

India’s largest social media market includes an 87% share from Facebook as of April 2020. In 2020, Facebook also invested over 5 billion US dollars in Reliance Jio Platformsthe largest telecom operator in India. This shows that India’s internet market is not just on the rise, but also has loads of potential. TWhy else would  the world’s largest social media company invest so many dollars in it?

How India’s Internet Users Spent their Time During the Lockdown

India’s internet users increased by 122% during the pandemic

(Source: Live Mint)

When COVID-19 hit India, the total number of internet users increased by an impressive 122%. These people mainly used streaming platforms available online, including Netflix, HBO, and Prime Video. There was also a 72% M-O-M rise. This was mainly because during this time, India’s internet users spent more time indoors as the country was under lockdown.

Active users on video conferencing platforms increased significantly

(Source: Live Mint)

Reports showed that there was a significant increase in the daily active base in India’s video conferencing platforms. This included Skype, Hangouts, and Zoom. According to official statistics, the highest traffic was seen on Zoom, with a 185% increase in DAUS. In a three-month time, the number of Skype’s DAUs also rocketed with  a 100% increase.

There was a 50% increase in time spent on e-commerce platforms

From February to April 2020, there was a rise in data usage to approximately 50%. Users were spending more and more time on Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon. During this time, KalaGato’s report showed that there was also a 50% increase in online grocery retailers, including Big basket, Freshtohome, and Dmart. This was because the country was on lockdown, and people were too scared to shop for groceries in supermarkets in fear of contracting the virus.


In the past few years, data consumption in India has significantly surged. More and more people in rural and urban areas are gaining access to the internet, as mobile phones and internet services become more affordable for the masses. Whether it is to receive an online education amidst the pandemic or to access social media platforms, internet stats in India continue to rise every year. Soon, India might just outrun China and have the biggest online usage in the world.


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