Commentary

Senior Citizens Lead Internet Growth

Senior Citizens Lead Internet Growth

According to recent findings from Nielsen//NetRatings, senior citizens age 65 and older were the fastest growing age group online, surging 25 percent year over year to 9.6 million Web surfers from home and work in October 2003. Additionally, within the senior citizen age group, Nielsen//NetRatings found that the number of female seniors online jumped 30 percent, while male seniors jumped 20 percent.

Since October 2002, senior citizens online grew from 7.6 million or 5.9 percent of the active Internet universe to 9.6 million surfers aged 65 plus, making up seven percent of the active Internet universe in October 2003. The second fastest growing age group was Internet users 55-64.

Year-Over-Year Audience Profile Growth, by Age Group (U.S. Home and Work)

Age GroupOct 2002Oct 2003 % Growth
2 - 1112,160 12,211 0%
12 - 1714,016 14,999 7%
18 - 249,300 10,512 13%
25 - 34 20,702 21,380 3%
35 - 49 39,409 39,712 1%
50 - 54 12,07812,257 1%
55 - 64 13,585 15,632 15%
65+ 7,642 9,554 25%

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, November 2003

Nielsen//NetRatings found that the rise in usage by female seniors was greater than the increase in usage by senior males. Female seniors increased their average time spent online by six percent, spending nearly two more hours online, while male seniors increased their time online by two percent. While the number of sessions for female seniors increased by two percent, the number of sessions for male seniors decreased by three percent.

"As a whole, the Internet audience is continuing to become more representative of the general population," said Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "However, as we continue to track year-over-year trends, we observe significant upticks in the online presence of important groups such as seniors."

Female 65+ and. Male 65+ Online Usage Data (U.S., Home and Work)

Females 65+ Oct 2002 Oct 2003 % Change
Unique Audience (000) 3,528 4,604 30%
Average Web Pages Viewed Per Month 540 613 14%
Average Time Spent During Month 41:23:18 43:426%
Number of Sessions per Month 49 50 2%
Males 65+ Oct 2002 Oct 2003 % Change
Unique Audience (000)4,1144,950 20%
Average Web Pages Viewed Per Month890 935 5%
Average Time Spent During Month 52:44:19 53:412%
Number of Sessions per Month 65 63 -3%

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, November 2003

"More than 25 million adults over the age of 55 were online last month," continued Bloom. "That is clear evidence for advertisers and marketers looking to reach those older adults that the Internet should be part of the marketing mix."

You can see more here in this pdf.

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