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Aging Online - Seniors are more Internet savvy than you realize

Aging Online - Seniors are more Internet savvy than you realize

Aging Online - Seniors are more Internet savvy than you realize

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Close to 15% of Canadians are older than 65, and it's predicted that by 2030, 1 in 4 Canadians will be over 65 years old (Statistics Canada). It's no shock that Canada's population is aging, but what surprises many is how Internet savvy seniors are becoming.

The number of seniors on the Internet is growing faster than any other age group in Canada. Statistics Canada reports that 60% of Canadians between 65 and 75 are now regular Internet users. A Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) poll found that 53% of their online users have been using computers for over 20 years.

In the United States, the Pew Research Internet Project has found that once online, seniors jump into the Internet like any other age group with, over 80% of online seniors surfing weekly, and over 70% surfing daily. Statistics Canada has found that 44% of online seniors surf more than 5 hours a week.

Pew Research found wealthier seniors are more likely to be online, with a whopping 90% of higher-income seniors being regular Internet users. Educated seniors also use the Internet more, with 87% of university or college educated seniors being regular Internet users.

Seniors use the Internet for a wide range of purposes, but mostly to connect with friends and family (75%), shop online (58%) and seek health information (53%) (Pew Research). Social media is also popular with seniors, with 46% of them using Facebook. Don't expect to reach them with Twitter though: only a measly 5% of them are Tweeting. The CARP poll found that 78% of online seniors bank online and 77% of them pay bills online.

Mobile usage is also growing among seniors, but in a different direction than among their younger counterparts. Pew Research found that seniors are more likely to own tablets or e-readers (27%) than they are to own smartphones (18%).

See Also: Desktop, Tablet, and Phone – Different Uses, Different Times

Canada's population is aging. Services and products aimed at seniors will become more and more prevalent – and profitable – as this population shift occurs. Online solutions will be an important component of this market in the years to come, via tablets, e-commerce and even social media.

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