From the February 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Older and Online

From November 2004 until November 2009, the number of people over 65 years old who actively used the Internet jumped by 55%, according to a 2009 study by Nielsen (NielsenWire, 2009). Moreover, in that age bracket, slightly more women have taken up Internet surfing than men.

In terms of activities, these seniors' online profile is similar in many respects to other age groups: e-mail, photo sharing, viewing videos, social networking, news, and weather dominate their time on line. In fact, Facebook ranked as the number three destination for seniors in November 2009--up from number 45 just a year previously. In the last two years, the numbers of visitors age 65 or older who visit social networking sites has increased 53%. Interestingly, this group represents just 0.1% less than the number of teenagers who visit these sites.

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