India's digital populationHowever, internet accessibility and use in the country largely varied based on factors like gender and socio-economic divide. It was estimated that in 2020, there were over 300 million internet users in rural India compared to 335 million urban internet users. But it is worth mentioning that the majority of Indian internet users were between 20 and 29 years of age, and a slightly higher proportion of these users were from rural parts. At the same time, there were far more male internet users in the country compared to female users. And this digital gender gap only increased further in the rural hinterlands compared to urban metros.
A majority of India’s digital population accessed the internet via their mobile phones. By 2023, the mobile internet user penetration was expected to grow to over 35 percent, or approximately 500 million users by 2023. An increased availability of cheap data plans along with various government initiatives under the Digital India campaign worked together to make mobile the primary internet access in the country. Notably, 4G networks were the most widely used across urban and rural India in 2019.