People Aged 55 and Up Drive U.S. Web Growth

By Rob McGann | December 10, 2004

Young people largely drove the early stages of Internet growth in the U.S. But in the last four years, most new growth in Web adoption came from people aged 55 and up, according to a survey conducted by International Demographics.

A population bulge of baby boomers nearing retirement age is increasingly going online, opening up new opportunities for online marketers and advertisers, said Robert Jordan, president of International Demographics.

"The recent growth in Internet users indicates the Internet is maturing, in that it is becoming more democratic in its representation of all age groups," Jordan said. "Most of the new growth is coming from older age groups, including the aging Baby Boomer demographic. When you consider the huge purchasing power of this group, which continues to buy everything, including the most expensive products, there is a huge opportunity for e-commerce and e-marketing."

The findings are based on a regularly-conducted survey of 80 U.S. metropolitan markets with a combined population of 130 million. (Though not a national survey by definition, the findings traditionally correlate national trends.) Of that total population, 61.2 percent visit the Internet regularly, compared to 54.9 percent in 2000.
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