Older Internet Users More Active Online Than Ever

By November 16, 2009

Recent research from Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing on Seniors and Boomers that have an Internet connection in the US are more active online than normally reported. The data was released late last month in a press release focusing on the two age groups. Of US Internet users aged 65 and up, 94 percent use e-mail, 77 percent shop online, and 71 percent look up health and medical information. 70 percent read the news, 59 percent manage finances and banking, and 47 percent play free online games. For Boomers ages 45 to 64, 93 percent use e-mail, 73 percent read news, 71 percent shop online and 67 percent conduct research. 66 percent pay bills. 39 percent go to networking Web sites or use forums, message boards and chat rooms. Thirty percent watch videos online.

Younger generations are more frequently the subjects of technology adoption studies, and their impact on advertising and marketing is well known, according to CTAM president and CEO Char Beales as quoted in eMarketer today. But "Boomers and Matures, who have significant purchasing power, are active online and more comfortable with technology than often reported.”

Even so, the adoption of e-commerce by Internet-using seniors has not translated into much online shopping, the article continues. The Pew Internet & American Life Project December 2008 report showed only eleven percent of US Internet users were over 64 years old. Additionally, The Pew Research Center found that only 28 percent of connected seniors go online every day. Such a small percentage continues to be the case despite a multitude of Internet community sites and Web portals just for this demographic.

However, the presence of Boomers is much stronger. An eMarketer estimate shows in 2009 that Internet users from 45 to 63 make up 28.8 percent of the total Internet population of 57.4 million users.

Legal mentions © L’Atelier BNP Paribas