Senior Series: Part 1, Seniors and the Internet

By Lyndsey Kleven

The rise of Internet usage over the past years has also seen an increase in senior citizen’s getting online. The Connect Ohio Residential Technology Assessment Results have shown over the past three years, that broadband adoption among seniors has increased 42%, as has computer ownership for this group, increasing by 26%.

When it comes to computer ownership, the statistics are much higher. The percentage of seniors who own a computer is at 58%, compared to 80% of all households statewide.

Although the adoption rate has increased over the past three years, people 65 or older still make up the lowest percentage of people online. The Residential Technology Assessment found that only 37% of people in that age group have access to broadband Internet from home; much lower than the 74% of Ohioans overall who subscribe to broadband or dial-up Internet service.

Findings among Ohio residents who subscribed to home broadband service in the past year, are that seniors continue to have the slowest adoption rate. The assessment found that only 4% of those 65 or older subscribed to home broadband in past year; compared to 8% for those 55-64. The young adult age group, 18 to 24 years old, was the most likely group to subscribe to home broadband service in the past year, at 29%.

There are three major reasons, the Technology Assessment reveals, why seniors do not have broadband at home. The first and most prevalent reason cited by 73% of seniors was that they do not need broadband. The second most-cited reason for is that they don’t own a computer, at 43%, and the third reason, at 21%, is lack of education and not knowing enough about broadband.

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