There has been a steady increase over the past year in the percentage of older Americans who go online. In our January 2005 phone survey, 26% of Americans age 65+ report internet access, compared to the 22% of older Americans described in our March 2004 report.

Wired seniors’ activities online reflect the fact that they are more likely to be new users. New users adopt email and information-gathering immediately, but shy away from making purchases, banking, or participating in online auctions. As the population ages, more people who regularly used the internet at work will retire and the over-65 set will probably have higher rates of connectivity and report higher rates of “high trust” activities.

These findings come from a telephone survey conducted Jan. 13-Feb. 9, 2005, with 2,201 adults, of whom 1,421 are internet users. For results based on the full sample, the margin of error is +/- 2%.