DATA STORY: India tops list of countries where people 'can't live without the internet'
India has about 462 million internet users at present which is second only to China globally
India has trumped China, the UK, Germany, and even the US to become the number one country where people simply cannot live without the internet in a survey of internet users across the world.
As per data collated by Statista, which is based on a survey by Ipsos, India came out on top among 23 major internet using countries as the nation where most people denied having a life without the world wide web.
The survey had a sample of more than 18,000 internet users and it gauged public attitude towards technology.
As much as 82 percent internet using respondents polled in India during the survey said that they can't imagine their life without the internet.
The United Kingdom, which had fewer internet users as compared to populous countries India, China, US and Brazil was placed second, with 78 percent comprehending that they simply cannot get out of it.
China, despite being the most populous country, was placed at the third with 73 percent of the respondents saying internet is their prime necessity in life.
However, India's case doesn't come as a complete surprise. India is a country that has a large chunk of millennials and young population which hasn't seen the time before the world wide web was invented.
What does come as a surprise is the fact that India rose to this position (through a double digit surge in Internet users since 2013) despite having the slowest Internet connection in Asia.
Internet connectivity in India grew faster than the rest of the world, as per the 2017 Internet Trends report by Kleiner Perkins - a venture capital firm that works in the technology and life sciences industry. The report states that users in India grew by 28 percent while global internet user growth was flat at 10 percent.
Internet users in the country rose from 4% in 2009 and 27% by 2016-end (Courtesy: Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends Report)
India has about 462 million internet users at present which is second only to China globally.
How important this number is can be construed from the fact that tech giants have been introducing apps specially designed for low-speed data markets like India.
Examples include Microsoft’s Skype Lite and LinkedIn Lite, Facebook’s Facebook Lite and Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), that promote faster loading on smartphones even on 2G speeds.
Internet subscriber density in India as per data from TRAI
As per a World Economic Forum report, China and India contribute a large part of Asia’s share i.e. 49.8% in the global internet users pie. This means almost half of the world’s wide web users live in these two countries.
Globally, the number of Internet users in India comprise 12.9%, which accounts for a whopping 462 million users as compared to 3,578 million Internet users worldwide.
Asia accounts for almost half the world’s Internet users could also have something to do with the booming population of India and already-high population in China (Courtesy: Internet World Stats)
A large part of the new generations working population says that they feel more productive after using the Internet as per a report from Pew Research Center.
German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, back in 1974, propounded a widely accepted theory of Spiral of Silence that stipulates that individuals have a 'fear of isolation' or 'missing out' from the larger social group.
In the present day, 'fear of missing out' is touted as another reason behind why people stay hooked on the Internet or - as described by Al Gore in the 1990s - the information superhighway.
Though India has the second highest number of Internet users worldwide at present, by 2021 it is estimated that the country will have 635.8 million internet users.In a hypothetical situation, if India stops procreating from this moment on, the aforementioned number of estimated internet users still measures up to 48 percent of the country's population. This still leaves a humongous number of people without internet and perhaps even more dependency.