Senior citizens increasingly going online

Their numbers are still low, but a majority of senior citizens — 59 percent — now go online, according to the Pew Research Center.

Although nearly a quarter of seniors — those 65 years old and older — still don’t own a cell phone, cell phone ownership has grown from 69 percent to 77 percent in 2013.

In 2000 only 14 percent of senior citizens used the Internet, compared to 50 percent of all other adults. But by 2012, the number of seniors using the Internet had grown to 53 percent.

Almost half of seniors — 46 percent — told researchers they use social networking sites. That number jumped dramatically from 25 percent in 2010, from none in 2006.

Out of the seniors who do use the Internet, 71 percent told researchers they go online every day or almost every day, while 11 percent only go online three to five times each week.

Age plays a factor in how often seniors use the web. While about 68 percent of seniors in their early 70s go online, the number drops to 47 percent for people between the ages 75 and 79, and falls even further to 37 percent for those older than 80.

 

In this 2000 photo, Marty Peterson, 77, of South San Jose writes an email to a friend in Brazil. Photo by Joanne Hoyoung Lee/Mercury News.

Dan Nakaso Dan Nakaso (72 Posts)

Dan Nakaso returned home to San Jose to help tell the story of Silicon Valley and the people who keep the Valley humming.