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Pew Report: Tech Adoption Climbs Among Older Adults

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This recent Pew Research Center report details the trends in technology usage among older Americans age 65 and above. Broadband internet usage and smartphone adoption have dramatically increased within the last five years, making the current generation of seniors the most digitally-connected in history. Although there is a definite uptick in technology adoption, there still seems to be a digital divide among seniors with lower levels of education and income.

Approximately four-in-ten (42%) of senior adults report owning smartphones and 67% of seniors report using the internet, which marks a 55-percentage-point increase in about 20 years. Despite the increase, one-third of seniors report never using the internet, while 49% report not having broadband internet in their homes.

Technology adoptions rates differ dramatically when also evaluating education and income. 87% of seniors who earn $75,000 and above report having broadband internet in their homes, in comparison with just 27% of seniors earning $30,000 or below. Around two-thirds of seniors with bachelor’s or advanced degrees report owning smartphones (65%), compared with 45% of those who have some college experience and 27% of those who have high school diplomas or less.

These findings are based on several nationally representative Pew Research Center surveys. The main findings on technology adoption are from a phone survey of 3,015 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 29-Nov. 6, 2016.

Visit the Pew Research Center for the full report.

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  • technology
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