India Forecast to Surpass U.S. in Internet Users by 2014

The country is expected to have 243 million internet users by June 2014, surging past the U.S. total of 207 million.

India's Internet user base crossed 200 million in October and the total is expected to hit 243 million by June 2014, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and research agency IMRB International.

India currently has the third largest Internet user-base in the world, behind China with 300 million and the U.S. with 207 million, said the report.  But by next year, India is expected to gallop past the U.S. in total users. India's Internet user base grew 40 percent last year, and by December, the country is forecast to have 213 million users.

STORY: Indian Entertainment Biz Revenues to Reach $25 Billion by 2014: Report

“The Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million users and only three years from 100 to 200 million users,” said IAMAI chairman Rajan Anandan. “From here on, we can hope to develop a robust Internet ecosystem with a multitude of local and global players and a thriving Internet economy. Internet is now, clearly, mainstream in India.”
The report states that India's urban Internet user base was 137 million in October 2013, estimated to touch 141 million by December. Rural India's user base has grown 58 percent over last year to hit 68 million in October, and is estimated to reach 72 million by December.

Also rising steadily are mobile internet users, at 110 million in October, and forecasted for 130 million by December. With an estimated 900 million users, India has the second largest mobile user base in the world, after China, which has over a billion users.