Internet not used by most over-75s
Published on 15 November 2012 11:30 AM
Only three in every 10 people aged 75 or older have ever used the internet, a study suggests.
Among the estimated 7.63 million people who have never been online in their life, around two-fifths of them (43%) are over 75 years old, according to the Office for National Statistics.
As of the third quarter of the year, 3.89 million disabled adults had never been online, just over half the total and the equivalent of a third of all disabled adults in the UK. In contrast, practically all 16 to 24-year-olds are internet users.
But the numbers who have never been online is shrinking, down 2% on the previous quarter and down 9% on last year.
Overall, women are slightly less likely than men to be internet users, with respective 83% and 87% usage rates.
The area said to have the highest proportion of internet users is London while the lowest is Northern Ireland.
The Office for National Statistics said its estimates come from the Labour Force Survey and had not been seasonally adjusted.
People not online miss out on huge benefits
Age UK director general Michelle Mitchell said more older people were starting to go online, with the number of over-65s experiencing the internet increasing by around 500,000 in the last year alone. Moreover, the number of older people who now regularly surf the web is up 14% over the year.
She said the statistics also revealed that under-65s were getting online three times faster than those aged 65-plus, showing that this group of people were being allowed to slip further behind - 5.3 million older people have never been online and potentially miss out on huge benefits.
'With the government pushing forward with its digital-by-default agenda, it is more crucial than ever that adequate training and support is put in place to help more people to get online, particularly from government and the private sector who stand to make the most of people going online,' she said.
'Government must also continue to ensure that offline methods to access their services remain in place so that no-one loses out as result of not being online.'
Copyright Press Association 2012