Rapid increase internet usage among older people

16/12/2013 15:00

The share of 65 to 75-year-olds in the Netherlands active on the internet has more than doubled since 2005. Internet usage in the Netherlands in this age category is among the highest in the EU. More and more older people use the internet to access online calling, shopping and banking services.    

More than half of 65 to 75-year-olds access the internet on a daily basis

In 2013, eight in ten 65 to 75-year-olds reported to access the internet occasionally, more than twice as many as in 2005. The number of people indicating to have accessed the internet recently (during the past three months) has risen proportionately. More than half (55 percent) of 65 to 75-year-olds access the internet almost every day, nearly four times as many as in 2005, when only 15 percent in this age group were regularly online. With 87 percent, the share of 12 to 65-year-old daily internet users is still significantly higher.

Internet usage among 65 to 75-year-olds

Internet usage among 65 to 75-year-olds

Nearly three quarters of older people in the Netherlands use the internet

In 2012 – the most recent year for which European figures are available – 74 percent of Dutch individuals aged between 65 and 75 indicated they had accessed the internet at least once. This share is nearly twice as high as the EU average. Together with Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark, the Netherlands ranks high on the list representing internet usage among older people. In other Western-European countries like Germany, Belgium and France, the number of older people with internet experience is much lower.

Internet usage among 65 to 75-year-olds in various EU countries, 2012

Internet usage among 65 to 75-year-olds in various EU countries, 2012

More and more older people use the internet to access online calling, shopping and banking services

A growing number of older people are exploring the possibilities of the internet. In 2005, the proportion of 65 to 75-year-olds making online telephone calls (for example via Skype) was still negligible, but has risen to 15 percent in 2013. The proportion of online shoppers has risen from 7 to 32 percent over the same period and online banking has grown from 16 to 57 percent. Nearly three in every ten people in the age category 65-75 used social media in 2013.

Internet activities 65 to 75-year-olds

Internet activities 65 to 75-year-olds

Two in ten over-75s use the internet every day

Since 2012, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) also interviews people in the highest age category (75 years and older). Internet usage in this group is significantly lower than among 65 to 75year-olds. This year, 39 percent of over-75s reported they had accessed the internet occasionally and 20 percent were online every day. The corresponding rates for 2012 are 34 and 16 percent respectively.

Math Akkermans

Source: One third of over-75s use the internet