Older women remain least likely group to get online
Published on 23 August 2013 12:30 AM
Older women are the least likely group in society to use the internet, despite potentially having the most to gain from it, new statistics from the ONS reveal.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of women aged 75 and over, or two million people, have never been online despite it offering them advantages including being able to keep in touch with friends and family more easily.
Older men, whilst not as likely to be online as their younger counterparts, are more likely to use the internet than older women, with 59%, or 1.2 million, having never used the internet.
Separately it is also estimated that 46% of women in the same age group admit to feeling lonely- something which could potentially be addressed by using technology.
For example, new research shows that older people who are offline are twice as likely to say they are lonely compared to those who are online.
Despite these benefits, many older people are not aware of how the internet could improve their lives.
Older women risk being marginalised by remaining offline
Now Age UK is calling on the government, local authorities and businesses to come together to raise awareness about how the internet could benefit people in later life, and to help older people to get online.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General at Age UK, said, ‘More than any group of people, older women risk being marginalised by not being online.
'Nearly two million women aged 75 and over, many of whom admit to feeling lonely, have never been online and are missing out on the benefits of using the internet. Learning internet skills is a process which for most starts with staying in touch with family and friends.
‘The government and businesses stand to gain greatly from more services moving online as their operating costs are reduced. If they want older people, particularly older women to engage with their services online, it is right that they should help them to get online in the first place.'