Senior Citizen Population May Be Near Max for
Use; 4 of 5 Adults of All Ages Now Online
184 Million U.S. adults are online from their
homes, offices, schools or other locations
November 18, 2008 A new Harris Poll finds the
U.S. citizens Online are beginning to look more like the population of
the country. Although senior citizens age 65 and older still lag, they
are catching up and the difference is not so dramatic.
While Baby Boomers (age 50 through 64) make up 24
percent of the population, they are 23 percent of the Online audience
just one percentage point difference.
Seniors, on the other hand, make up 16 percent of
the population but only 10 percent of the Online users. Still, that is
close, considering among those over age 65 there are millions that are
too poor to have access or unable to use the technology due to mental or
physical problems associated with old age.
It is obvious, for these reasons, that the
percentage of seniors on line, compared to their total number, will
never match younger groups.
In 1995, when The Harris Pollฎ began
measuring online activity, less than 18 million adults used the Internet
in their homes, offices, schools, libraries or other locations. Now,
thirteen years, later, fully 184 million adults are online.
The proportion of adults online tripled between
1995 (9%) and 1997 (30%), and kept on climbing rapidly to 63% in 2000.
Since then growth has been slower, reading 73% in 2004 and 81% now.
The Harris analysis of the poll says, In
the early days of the Internet revolution, most of those online were
young and well-educated. As the online population has grown it has come
to look more and more like the population of the country.
Internet penetration is still somewhat lower among
people over 65, people who never went to college and people with
household incomes of less than $25,000, but large majorities of all of
these demographic groups are now online.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll, a
new nationwide survey of 2,020 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone between
October 16 and 20, 2008 and October 30 and November 2, 2008 by Harris
Many People Go Online at Two or More Locations While most people (75%), and almost all those who use the Internet,
use it at home, more than two out of five adults (43%) go online at work
and a third (32%) do so at other locations (schools, cybercaf้s,
Internet Users Are Spending More Time Online Until 2002, Internet users spent an average of seven or eight hours
online per week. That has increased to nine hours in 2005, eleven hours
in 2007 and to fully fourteen hours in this new survey.
Virtually all Computer Users are Now Online Before 1998, less than half of the people who used computers also
used the Internet. Over the last ten years, that has increased steadily.
Today only two percent of computer users do not go online.
PROFILE OF ONLINE POPULATION
Base: All adults
Total U.S. AdultOnline
Total U.S. Adult Population*
Percentage Point Difference
graduate (or postgraduate)
less than $50,000
*Based on data from the March 2008 U.S. Current