According to a recent Pew Research Center survey report, America’s senior population is embracing digital technology. This segment is large, and growing. A record 46 million seniors – age 65 and older – live in the United States today. They currently comprise 15% the U.S. population. According to U.S. Census Bureau projections this figure will grow to 22% by 2050.
The surveys find that around four-in-ten (42%) adults ages 65 and older now report owning smartphones, up from just 18% in 2013, an increase of 233%. Internet use and home broadband adoption among this group have also risen substantially. Today, 67% of seniors use the internet, up from 12% in 2000. And for the first time, half of older Americans now have broadband at home.
Three major points emerge:
Seniors are a large and growing segment of the population
Seniors are acquiring digital technology, particularly smartphones and broadband access
Seniors are using these technologies for work and life.
Additional factors that play a part in this trend are education and income, which is not surprising. Internet and smartphone use is far greater among college educated seniors with household incomes above $75,000. It’s no secret that as age increases, mobility decreases. Whether visiting grandchildren via video apps, ordering everything from groceries to movies, or performing professional functions in an encore career, the trend benefits day to day life for seniors. This presents opportunities for direct marketers to make technology affordable and available. It bodes well for online shopping, entertainment, learning, and productivity offers.
There is opportunity in the flip side of the figures. If 42% of seniors are using smartphones, that means 58% are not. If half have broadband access, then half do not. Whether a function of affordability or willingness, these are huge markets waiting to be tapped. Lower priced broadband access and bargain smartphone devices and plans are opportunities for smart (and quite frankly civic-minded) marketers.
Call (914) 948-8300 to learn more about the business and consumer focused direct mail lists that can help fuel these trends and the opportunities they are creating.