Senior Citizens Wanted

Now that the Net has become mainstream to just about every American, we need to take a closer look at up and coming markets. Guess what? It's the 65 and over market. According to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the ranks of Americans over 65 who use the Internet have jumped by 47 percent since 2000, making them the fastest-growing group to embrace the online world.

The online presence of Americans aged 65 and older jumped 25 percent this year, to a total of almost 10 million surfers, while 55- to 64-year-olds increased their numbers by 15 percent, to almost 16 million, according to a new study by Nielsen//NetRatings.

Despite the increases, this age group still has a long way to go. Only 22 percent of Americans over 65 go online, the study shows, compared with 75 percent of those ages 30 to 49.

The 65+ market in America:
42% have used a computer
41% have a computer at home
31% have ever gone online
33% have Internet access at home

According to studies from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Pew, e-mail is the top activity for this market. Among Americans 65 and over, 93 percent of wired seniors use e-mail.



Other findings include:
68% have checked the weather online
67% read news online
58% go online for hobby information
57% have bought a product such as books, clothes, or plane tickets online.
53% search for health and medical information
53% browse for fun

Fidelity Investments was one of the only companies that I could find that was conducting senior usability testing. They know seniors that go online tend to be affluent. Kudos to them. Have you heard of any more? If so, post to the SPINboard.

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