Gray America: The Next Frontier for Internet Diffusion

MediaPost reports:
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
To put a personal spin on this: the Digito Daughters routinely email with their grandparents. Email is my primary communication medium with my parents. Ditto for the Digito Spouse. The great grandparents do not have a computer.

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