India Online Growing Fastest ? Yes and No !

Thrilled to see this head line on Google news. While it is a wonderful news that Indian internet population is growing at the fastest rate, it is not a good indication to compare growth.

According to a survey conducted by US-based Internet firm, comScore Networks, India's online population is growing at the fastest rate in the world.

The survey reveals that the total online population in the country, measured in terms of people aged over 15 years accessing the Internet, grew by 7.8 percent to reach 18.02 million in June, from 16.71 million three months ago. [Source:TechTree News article]

While the growth rate is quite impressive and highest in the rankings, number of net users added is quite small comparatively. Since the growth rate is measured and expressed as a percentage of current users, this can be misleading if we don't take into account the current user base.

US has 153 Million internet users. So even though US has only 1% growth rate, that would mean a net addition of 1.53 Million users. India has achieved a growth rate of 7.8% which is at the first look 8 times the growth  of USA. But the net addition of internet users in India for the same period of comparision, it is only 1.31 Million users, which is less than US net additions.

So it is quite misleading to say that India is growing fastest.  Some times rate or percentage expressions will be quite blinding.

Also, the report says that it has excluded people who access internet from public computers and internet cafes. In India, cyber cafe is the most prominent place where people access internet. So, if we exclude those numbers, this can not be an accurate indication of how many Indians are really accessing internet. Also, it excludes those aged below 15 years, the most important segment of Computer literates in India. The number will definitely be much higher than 18 Millions, if we include those numbers. I guess it would be more than double of that number, around 50 Million.

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