The fastest growing online population is also the oldest, according to measurements from Nielsen//NetRatings finding that the over 65 group surged 25 percent in a year. Since October 2002, senior citizens online grew from 7.6 million – 5.9 percent of the active Internet universe – to 9.6 million surfers, representing 7 percent of the online population in October 2003.
|Audience Profile Growth, by Age Group
(U.S., Home and Work)
|2 – 11||12,160||12,211||0%|
|12 – 17||14,016||14,999||7%|
|18 – 24||9,300||10,512||13%|
|25 – 34||20,702||21,380||3%|
|35 – 49||39,409||39,712||1%|
|50 – 54||12,078||12,257||1%|
|55 – 64||13,585||15,632||15%|
Big gains were seen among female seniors who increased their average number of Web pages viewed per month by 14 percent – compared to 5 percent for males – and the women increased their average time spent online by 6 percent, spending nearly two more hours online.
|65+ Online Usage Data, by Gender
(U.S., Home and Work)
|Oct 2002||Oct 2003||Change|
|Average Web Pages Viewed Per Month|
|Average Time Spent During Month|
|Number of Sessions per Month|
Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) echoes the findings of significant growth, noting that older adults (50 to 64) and seniors (65+) were two of the fastest emerging demographic groups online.
|The Older Adult (50 to 64) and
Senior Online Population
Older Adults Online
|Source: Jupiter Research|
Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings, comments on the senior growth spurt: “As a whole, the Internet audience is continuing to become more representative of the general population.”
The aging Internet population will be reflected in online shopping, where Jupiter Research noticed that the older adults and seniors – along with kids and teens – would experience the biggest e-commerce gains by 2007.
The senior shopping population will increase from 3 percent in 2003 to 5 percent in 2006, where it will remain over the next year, and the 15 percent of older adults that shop online in 2003 will increase to 18 percent in 2007. All other groups – except for those aged 2 to 17 – will experience declines.
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