By IR Web Report Staff
HALF of all Americans over age 60 use the Internet, as do more than 80 percent of Baby Boomers, according to research from Focalyst, a market research and consulting firm focused exclusively on Baby Boomers and older consumers.
Focalyst’s Online Activity Report, which is based on a survey of more than 30,000 U.S. consumers ages 42 and older, also found that almost one-third of all online boomers — 21 million people — have been using the Internet for more than 10 years. Meanwhile, more than 7 million people over age 60 have been online for more than a decade.
“People associate the Internet and computers with youth, but it was the Baby Boom generation that had the discretionary income 20 years ago to buy the first personal computers and lead the early adoption of the Internet,” says David van Nostrand, Focalyst’s chief research officer. “By 1995, when Netscape went public and gave credence to the financial and social viability of the Internet, millions of Baby Boomers were already part of the Internet revolution.”
The study also finds that 33 million boomers use the Internet every day, along with 10 million members of the 60-plus generation.
While emailing is their primary activity, these users are also going online to make travel arrangements, check the news, find health information, bank and shop, the report said.
Almost a third of online boomers shop online at least a few times a month — the same percentage as those born between 1965 and 1988. As younger members of the Baby Boom generation enter their 50s, their incomes are likely to increase and, with that, their Internet usage and activities.
Regardless of age, online shoppers share similar levels of concern about identity theft, misuse of financial information, and not getting what was ordered, though these fears do not stop the vast majority from shopping online.
“There is a prevailing assumption that ‘older’ people are just using computers for email and exchanging photos, but that is simply not true,” van Nostrand says. “Once people start using a device, they realize its full potential and there is no stopping them. When it comes to technology, age has become less and less relevant.”