Jul 31, 2008

India - Internet reaching out to youth in hinterland

A study by internet research firm JuxtConsult reveals that one out of every seven regular internet users is from the rural belt.
The increase in the number of websites in various local languages is attracting the youth in rural areas, leading to greater internet penetration in the rural market.
According to a study conducted by internet research firm JuxtConsult, one out of every seven regular internet users is from the rural belt.
The survey shows that rural net users are younger than their urban counterparts. While 61 per cent of the total internet users in the rural areas are under 25 years of age, among the urban users, it is about 50 per cent.
Also, while 14 per cent of rural internet users are in their teens, the comparable figure for urban areas is 8 per cent.
According to the survey, South India accounts for 50 per cent of the rural net users. This is also evident from the number of websites that are available in vernacular languages. While almost 72 per cent of the total number of internet users prefer to read in local language, this percentage is as high as 82 per cent in the rural areas as compared to 70 per cent in the urban regions.
However, only 33 per cent of users in the rural areas access local language websites, which is slightly lower than their urban counter parts at 34 per cent.
In numbers, of the total regular internet user populace of roughly 35 million, 30 million or so are based in urban India, while the balance 5 million are from rural India.
The internet penetration in the rural areas can be attributed to the presence of cyber cafes in the regions, which are often the sole points for access.
While local matchmakers still dominate in the rural areas, urban net users are more inclined to conduct online matrimony search. The research points out that more matrimonial users conduct their search from their ‘place of work’ than from their homes.
This is also a reflection of the fact that only 27 per cent of online rural users are employed. On the other hand 57 per cent of urban internet users are employed

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