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Regional languages and changing trends of internet users


India is the home of 1.21 billion people (Census 2011), speaking 30 languages with 1600 dialects. It is the third largest country in-term of internet users in the world after USA and China. Internet users are growing with every passing second, extensive reach of Internet made it possible for India. As per KPMG in India’s analysis, April 2017, 78 per cent internet users accessing internet through their mobile phones. Despite these statistics, India still has the potential to perform exceptionally in the number of Internet users in the world. Standard language (English) to use internet holding the number of Internet users.

Language barrier 

Language is one of the prominent barriers that is restricting the number of internet users mainly from rural India. As per W3Techs estimation until September 2018, more than 53 per cent of the website’s homepages found in English and language ranked first. Whereas, the website available with Hindi homepage found a position at 39th place with 0.1 per cent.


Language preference

As per KPMG in India’s analysis, April 2017, out of 521 million Hindi speakers 254 million users prefer the Hindi language over English to read, write and converse with each other. Other insight details of different languages illustrated in the figure given below.

Source: KPMG in India’s analysis, April 2017
*These 8 languages have been considered as Indian languages for the purpose of this report
** Indian languages users are Indian language literates who prefer their primary language over English to read, write and converse with each other

There were 110 million internet users in 2011 in India. Majority of internet users (62%) were using internet in the English language, there were only 38 per cent internet users using internet in different Indian languages. In the year 2016, the picture had changed, a number of internet users have grown to 409 million from 110 million in 2011. Internet users using internet in Indian languages subsequently grown to 57 per cent (234 million).

Source: KPMG in India’s analysis, April 2017

As per the report, Internet penetration in India expected to grow 52 per cent by 2021 and the number of internet users would be around 735 million. Out of total internet users in 2021, 73 per cent would be using it in Indian languages.