The biggest increase in internet use since 2005 is the 70-75 year-old age group. While just over one-fourth (26%) of 70-75 year olds were online in 2005, 45% of that age group is currently online, and doing more activities online.
Instant messaging, social networking, and blogging have gained ground as communications tools, but email remains the most popular online activity, particularly among older internet users, writes Sydney Jones and Susannah Fox in the report. 74% of internet users age 64 and older send and receive email, making email the most popular online activity for this age group. 89% of teens claimed to use email in 2004. Now, just 73% currently say they use email.
Teens and Generation Y (age 18-32) are more likely than their older counterparts to seek entertainment through online videos, online games, and virtual worlds, and they are also more likely to download music to listen to later.
The report says that health questions drive internet users age 73 and older to the internet just as frequently as they drive Generation Y. Researching health information is the third most popular online activity with the most senior age group, after email and online search.
Generation X (ages 33-44) continues to lead in online shopping:
67% Generation X internet users lead in online banking, while 57% of Generation Y to do their banking online, up from 38% in 2005. There has been no significant growth among older generations when it comes to banking online
Downloading videos is now being done more equally across all generations under 73 years old.
Who are these people...
Ages in 2009
% Of Total Adult Population
% Of Internet-Using Population
Gen Y (Millennials)
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project December 2008 survey, February 2009
The writers note, in summary, that "...contrary to the image of Generation Y as the 'Net Generation,' internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life."
For additional information about the report, and access to the PDF file, please visit pewinternet.org here.