courage can't see around corners but goes around them anyway. ~Mignon McLaughlin

Latest Digital Stats from India

Facts and figures are like little tiny presents to me. Of course, in the interest of honestly, I should also tell you that an understanding of statistics does not come naturally to me. It was the one course requires for a psych minor that flattened my burgeoning interest in the field (well, that and the horrifying thought of dealing with people’s incurable ennui for the rest of my life.) Anyway, a friend recently sent me this sweet little report consolidated by ‘We are social’ with the latest numbers on Internet users and usage in India.  So, here it is. Download to your little heart’s content. A few highlights that are good to know, perhaps for the next time you want to keep someone like me interested at a cocktail party:
  • Number of internet users in India: 137 mil
  • The number of internet users in India is growing by more than 1.5 mil every month (source: Comscore – Aug 2012)
  • Number of internet users in Rural areas – 38 mil and 82% of India’s rural netizens go online at least once per month 
  • The smartphone penetration in India is less than 3% but Indian smartphone users spend on an average 81 hours per month on their mobile devices (Source: Nielsen 2012)
  • Indian women spend 150% more time using Instant Messaging on their smartphone than men do; Men spend 50% more time browsing the internet on their phones than women
  • 56% of India’s population is under the age of 30.
  • 30% of today’s Indian population is under the age of 15

It’s really those last two points that always get my attention. Every 2 seconds in India, a child is born and a new person starts to use the Internet. The sheer pace of population growth is staggering. I’m a child of the feminist movement, so I was raised to believe my purpose in life was to find and express my purpose, not marry and bear the next generation. But in India, there is fierce pressure to produce a child within the first year of marriage, regardless of whether or not you are emotionally, psychologically and financially prepared. So, on the one hand, you have a lot of kids born to what people where I come from would consider less mature or equipped parents. However, on the other hand, as a result, you’ve got this huge population of energetic young people, many of whom are very entrepreneurial, tenacious, and determined to achieve more in less time than their parents did.

So, I wonder how youth in India compare to the global norms of Gen Y and Gen Z. I’d like to think they have a sense of ambition rooted in self-study and self-knowledge. There is certainly huge pressure to perform and compete academically. My twelve year-old niece in Pune regularly stresses herself into stomach distress over her marks on tests. I wonder if she is learning to perform on tests or if she is learning to question and think. If it is the latter, in fact, then she and her generation will be well poised to create and lead and do great things. If not, well, we’ll have more of the same.



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