Based on an analysis by the Pew Internet & American Life Project of phone interviews conducted across the nation with seniors last year, they compiled a report called "Wired Seniors: A fervent few, inspired by family ties."
These four million Americans exhibit some special characteristics.
- Many wired seniors are newcomers to the Internet
- They are more likely than younger Americans to be online on a typical day
- The most fervent wired seniors say it has helped them connect better to loved ones and makes it easier get the information they seek.
The five top uses of the Web by senior citizens are:
- using email,
- looking up hobby information,
- seeking financial information,
- reading the news,
- checking weather reports.
Wired seniors look like the early Internet population.
- About 60% are men
- 40% are women.
- more likely than their offline peers to be married,
- highly educated
- relatively high retirement incomes.
And, some of the other findings highlighted in the report:
- 84% of wired seniors say they first got Internet access for reasons unrelated to work or school.
- Of those, 48% say they were encouraged to do so by family members
- Another 45% say they first got Internet access because it was something they personally wanted to do.
- Only 21% of Americans over the age of 65 say they use a computer on "at least an occasional basis," compared to 59% of those age 50-64 and 64% of all Americans.
- 81% of people who say they definitely will not go online are over 50.
- 56% of those over age 65 say they will definitely not go online, compared to just 6% who say they definitely plan to go online.
- A significant shift in Internet access occurs around age 55.
- 43% of 55-59 year-olds use the Internet
- 34% of 60-64 year-olds have been online
- 23% of 65-69 year-olds go online
Susannah Fox, the project's research director told the Associated Press, "They (seniors) don't have to go down to the library to find out about ... whatever (illness) their doctor's telling them they have."
For the Full Report, click here.