Pakistan Internet Use Survey 2013

Published: August 20, 2013
The survey was conducted over July 28-29, 2013

The survey was conducted over July 28-29, 2013

While there are now over 20 million Pakistanis online – a number which is growing rapidly – there is very little documentation or research on how the internet is being used in the country.

This online survey, conducted through The Express Tribune and Express Urdu websites aimed to capture a snapshot of the local internet user’s perspective.

Both English and Urdu sites and their social media accounts were used to promote the survey in order to capture a wider, more diverse audience.

[Download the full report from Scribd]

[Explore all the data on Tableau one and two]


•  The survey was conducted over July 28-29, 2013.

•  A total of 1,100 respondents filled out the survey.

•  18-25 year olds make up over half of total respondents.

•  The survey highlighted a large gender disparity in respondents, with males dominating. This trend has been highlighted in the past; Pakistan’s Facebook audience was 70% male, 30% female in April 2013.

•  The majority of respondents (94%) are from urban areas, led by Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad.


•  Laptops are the most used device (81% of total respondents) to connect to the internet.

•  Mobile phones (65% of total respondents used mobile to connect) outranked desktop computers (47% of total respondents) for accessing the internet.

•  A vast majority of respondents (97%) have high speed internet connections. Dial-up internet use is almost negligible.

•  Over half of respondents (60%) pay Rs1,500 or less per month for their internet connections.

•  A majority of respondents use the internet over 5 hours a day, followed by those who use the internet 4-5 hours a day.

•  Over 90% of respondents often use the internet at home, as compared to often outside (16%) and often at work (52%).

•  Social networks/chatting is the number one activity for respondents, followed closely by email and news.

•  Shopping online registered low with respondents.


•  Nearly all respondents are on Facebook. Twitter and LinkedIn are both used by at least half of respondents.

•  More than half of respondents say they have befriended someone on a social network whom they have never met.

•  41% say they have met someone in the real world whom they have only met online.

•  Over 30% of respondents say they have become romantically involved through the internet.

•  More than half of respondents have made a purchase online.

•  A greater number of respondents (56%) have made a purchase online, as compared to selling something online (26%).

•  More than half of respondents never click on an online ad.

•  In terms of video content, entertainment, news and educational videos all ranked high for respondents.

•  Respondents indicated they access videos nearly equally for news/documentaries, movies/movie clips and music.

•  A majority of respondents (82%) have used proxies or other means to access blocked content.

[Download the full report from Scribd]

[Explore all the data on Tableau one and two]

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Manager Abdul Majid
    Aug 20, 2013 - 4:18PM

    Very good report. Thank you!


  • Malatesh
    Aug 20, 2013 - 4:25PM

    A majority of respondents (82%) have
    used proxies or other means to access
    blocked content.

    Then why majority of Pakistanis come on streets to protest against the objectionable contents in some sites? you people are already accessing blocked content using proxies.


  • Anon
    Aug 20, 2013 - 6:11PM


    What data do you have to support that they represent the majority? If anything, the above survey points to the contrary.
    Most of the protesters were probably people who only rarely access internet anyways.

    Unlike the loud minority, the silent majority of the people(the students and the professionals) “ain’t nobody got time for that” kind of protest against the ban..

    They’d rather sit at home, turn on the hotspot/spotflux shields and keep up with whatever they were doing before-like access the content they need for their entertainment, news, social networking, studies or job and not accessing blasphemous content anyways. Again, because, “ain’t nobody got time for that”


  • Ali Wali
    Aug 20, 2013 - 6:29PM

    Ask NSA.


  • AR
    Aug 20, 2013 - 6:43PM

    “Laptops are the most used device (81% of total respondents) to connect to the internet.
    Mobile phones (65%) outranked desktop computers (47%) for accessing the internet.”

    The numbers don’t add up.


  • :)
    Aug 20, 2013 - 6:46PM

    Since 70% were male, no wonder a vast majority “befriended someone online”


  • Aslam Baig
    Aug 20, 2013 - 6:56PM

    And I thought Pakistanis are more into p0rn watching business.


  • Anon
    Aug 20, 2013 - 7:21PM

    Popalzai and Haque were probably very high right now. haha

    The numbers mentioned in the sentence and the one in the pie chart don’t match. Unless you are trying to say that the data records people who use multiple devices to access internet, it doesn’t add up.

    Or may be you math is like that of Hamid Mir during election coverage. 40+47+30 equalled the breakdown of 100% of youth votes for each major political party respectively. ;)


  • Warsi
    Aug 20, 2013 - 7:45PM

    “On August 20, YouTube’s parent company Google deactivated Press TV’s new account weeks after disabling the channel’s official page,” said Press TV Newsroom Director Hamid Reza Emadi.

    Now there is a reason why Tribune is never banned by Youtube because they have news which is not doing anything good to the society.


  • Anon
    Aug 20, 2013 - 7:51PM

    @Aslam Baig

    And how does Pakistan stand out in that? It’s pretty normal all around the world. Get over your prejudice and projections over sex/porn! Just beat it.;)


  • Rhea
    Aug 20, 2013 - 8:32PM

    @AR: This indicates that the designing of the survey was not accurate. In fact, majority of the internet users in Pakistan these days use both laptops AND mobile phone to connect internet. The survey items didn’t catch that.


  • Talat Haque
    Aug 20, 2013 - 9:23PM

    Very interesting – we need to develop a mind for analysis – good work!


  • Asif Butt
    Aug 20, 2013 - 9:34PM

    Its says they use “blocked” content , not “objectionable” content.

    Please exercise proper and accurate criticism.


  • Dj
    Aug 20, 2013 - 10:41PM

    30% of the correspondents also reported to be trolls used by various political parties against each other.


  • Asif Butt
    Aug 20, 2013 - 11:36PM


    You all seem to love to waste your time.

    These are just non-standard subsets of a limited survey and people fall for the journalistic trap.

    Please people , find better things to do in your life than just find excuses to conversate diversely.


  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2013 - 1:36AM

    ” A vast majority of respondents (97%) have high speed internet connections. Dial-up internet use is almost negligible.”*

    This is very likely a sample does not provide an unbiased estimate of the populaion you are trying to study. This is due to the introduction of a sampling bias due to the methodology of sampling. If I have a dial up and a slow connection, it is unlikely I am going to have the patience to go and answer surveys. A self selecting sample as opposed to asample chosen through simple random sampling will have the flaw that you experienced.

    This is similar to surveys at the end of customer service calls. Satisfied customers rarely take the time to answer them but Dissatisfied customers make it a point to do so.

    This sampling bias will also impact the reliability of other conclusions you can draw from your sample unless you apply some correction factor based on our independent knowledge of dial up vs high speed connections and weight the samples according to their weight in the population.Recommend

  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2013 - 1:38AM

    @AR: The numbers do not have to add up to a total of 100 because people can access internet through multiple devices.Recommend

  • Aug 21, 2013 - 6:01AM

    Good report. I am impressed to see that so many people in Pak use Laptops and mobiles for the Internet.
    It is at the same standard of any developed country!


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