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Technology Trends

Computer use: People who range from 55 to 64 years old are 44 percent more likely to use a computer than those who range from 65 to 74 notes marketing research conducted by Forrester Research for Microsoft. People who range from 55 to 64 years old today currently use computers in the workplace at a higher rate than people in their 60s and 70s did at earlier ages. As current 55- to 64-year-olds mature into their 60s and 70s, they will continue to use computers. Therefore, in 10 years, there will be 2.5 times as many adults who range from 65 to 74 years old using computers as there are today. This growth comes from two areas: the greater use of computers by older individuals (the generational wave of computer use) and the increased total number of people in each group (population dynamics).

Older Americans & the Internet: The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new report on older Americans and the Internet. The percent of seniors who go online has jumped by 47 percent between 2000 and 2004. In a February 2004 survey, 22 percent of Americans age 65 and older reported having access to the Internet. That translates to about 8 million Americans age 65 and older who use the Internet.

  • 66% of wired seniors looked for health or medical information online in 2003.
  • 66% of wired seniors did product research online by the end of 2003.
  • 47% of online seniors bought something on the Internet by the end of 2003.
  • 41% made travel reservations online by the end of 2003.
  • 26% of wired seniors looked for religious and spiritual information by the end of 2003.
  • 20% of online seniors did banking on the Internet by the end of 2003.

Despite the significant gains noted, most Americans age 65 and older live lives far removed from the Internet, know few people who use email or surf the Web, and cannot imagine why they would spend money and time learning how to use a computer. Seniors are also more likely than any other age group to be living with some kind of disability, which could hinder their capacity to get to a computer training center or read the small type on many Web sites. The report, titled "Older Americans and the Internet," is based primarily on survey data collected between February 3 and March 1, 2004. The full report is available at http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.html?Report=117

Internet use continues to grow: “During January 2004, the total U.S. Internet population was 152.4 million users, who spent an average of 28.9 hours online,” notes the February 18 issue of DIRECTnewsline. January Internet use was up five percent from December. Tax, political, diet and travel sites ranked highest among the top sites.

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SRPH Building
1266 TAMU
College Station, Texas
77843-1266

Phone: 979-458-4202
Fax: 979-458-4264

Active for Life National Program Office | SRPH Building | 1266 TAMU | College Station, TX 77843-1266
Phone: 979-458-4202 | Fax: 979-458-4264 | Email: activeforlife@srph.tamhsc.edu