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Pakistan internet penetration stands at 54 percent

A new study about the digital population of Pakistan has revealed that the country’s internet penetration stood at 54 percent during the year 2021, with almost half accessing the facility every day.

“Out of 54%, about 76% of Pakistanis are connected to the internet in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad,” according to a first-ever study conducted by Google and Kantar, a Karachi-based research company.

The ‘Journey to Digital’ research outlines how Pakistanis consume and spend their time on the internet, according to a statement.

Overall, the study said 66% of internet users were based in urban areas while 47% belonged to rural areas, and 46% of all Pakistanis accessed the internet every day.

Males, Generation-Z (people born from 1995 to 2010), and employees are significantly more likely to be connecting to the internet.

Young males were early adopters, accessing the internet more than any other group, it said, adding that they were also keener to try new things, and needed the internet for education and work.

“Majority of non-internet users simply didn’t have the means to access the internet as they know about the internet but they can’t get onto it because they didn’t have an internet-enabled device or a reliable internet connection,” the report said.

The internet usage surged due to Covid-19, it said, adding that before the lockdown there were around 79% of internet users in urban locations accessing the internet daily, which increased by 10% since the lockdowns.

YouTube, used by nearly 90% of all internet users, was the most popular application in Pakistan for streaming music and watching video/TV, and 38% of Pakistan’s internet users went to YouTube in the research phase of their shopping journey.

Google Search is one of the top five applications/websites used in Pakistan and is widely used when researching and purchasing products online as well as travel, for information needs, and even entertainment.

The report said one-third of all internet users in Pakistan made a purchase online and one-fourth of these shoppers increased their spending during Covid-19 lockdowns.

“The reasons for turning to e-commerce are manifold, 71% of Pakistani shoppers find purchasing products or services online easy while 66% find it convenient, 54% agree that online shopping websites or apps give personalized product recommendations, which is a common task from shoppers.”

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