Older Australians embrace digital technology

Australians aged 65 and over are embracing digital technology, and since they make up 19% of the population this has implicatiolder couple computerons for business.

People who can remember when their household first got a television (black and white, of course) are more likely than the general adult population to use a tablet device.

About 85% of them go online at least once a day and half login three or more times a day.

“Older Australians are embracing digital technology,” says the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in a report released this month.

Their engagement is higher than that of counterparts in the UK and US.

Since older Australians are all usually lumped into a 65 and older segment, ACMA’s research has added interest because it breaks them up into 65 – 69, 70 – 74, 75 – 79 and 80-years plus groups.

In the 12 months to June 2015, 89% of the youngest group had accessed the internet and 58% of the 80-pluses had been online.

More than half did banking and 48% paid bills online, while 40% bought or sold something over the net.

Their most popular device is a desktop computer (41%) followed by laptops (27%), tablets (18%) and mobile phones (12%.)

The 18% of tablet users compare with 16% for the general adult population.

About 6% of Australians, or one million people, aged over 18 have never used the internet.

That breaks down to 11% of 65-69 year olds, 19% of 70-74 year olds, 27% of the 79-79 age group and 42% for the 80s and over.

Governments and business need to be aware that the very elderly may be excluded in the push to put information online.

August 2016