Silver Surfers In Europe Now Spend More Time Online

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Europeans in the 55-plus age group are emerging as a generation who are staying on the web longer than they did a couple of years ago, I read in IAB Europe’s latest report.

Overall, 36% of over-55s living on the old continent now go online, the trade body said.

IAB Europe has found that in 2012, silver surfers spent 39% more time online than they did eight years earlier, using the Internet 10.1 hours a week last year against 9.7 hours in 2008 and 7.5% hours in 2004.

According to the report, which came out under the title ‘Silver Surfers: Closing The Digital Divide’, 70% of an estimated 74.3 million European Internet users aged over 55 browse the web during TV prime time, spending 10.4 hours online weekly. By comparison, silver surfers spend 19.5 hours each week on watching TV, 14 hours on listening to the radio and 5.6 hours on reading newspapers.

Computers are the most popular choice for people in the 55 plus group to surf the web, which is used by 35% of consumers. Interestingly, 5% of silver surfers now use a mobile phone to go online and 3% are equipped with a tablet to access the web.

The study also revealed that men are more likely to use the Internet than women (44% vs 31%) and even spend more time online than their wives.

Half of over-55s believe that the Internet has helped them to make more informed decisions about product purchases. Some 45% use the web to book holidays quicker, 46% believe they now manage their finances better thanks to the web and 25% feel that they are able to manage their health more adequately.