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   Seniors And The Web

Although those aged 65 and older make up less than 10 percent of active Web users, a new Nielsen study has found that over the past five years, the number of seniors using the Internet regularly has increased by a 55 percent.

According to Nielsen, there were just 11.3 million seniors actively using the Web in November 2004. Five years, later, there are now more than 17.5 million seniors surfing around. Senior women have picked up the Web faster than men, outpacing men by 6 percent.

Seniors aren't just going to the Web, they're staying there. Nielsen found that the amount time seniors surf increased 11 percent in the last five years from 52 hours per month to a little more than 58 hours per month in November.

Nielsen research director Chuck Schilling said in a statement that seniors are sharing photos, social networking, and reading the news.

According to the data Nielsen culled from its study, 88.6 percent of seniors use the Web to check their personal e-mail. The study also found that 68.6 percent of respondents were viewing and printing maps online, while 60.1 percent said that they check the weather.

Nielsen said the top online destination for seniors in November was Google Search, tallying 10.3 million unique visitors. Windows Media Player was used by 8.2 million unique senior visitors, and Facebook captured the third spot with 7.9 million visitors.

Top 10 Online Activities Performed in the Last 30 Days by People 65+ (U.S.)
RANK Profile Point: Internet Activities in Last 30 Days Audience Composition Percent
1 Personal E-mail 88.6
2 Viewed or Printed Maps Online 68.6
3 Checked Weather Online 60.1
4 Paid/Viewed Bills Online 51.2
5 View/Posted Photos Online 50.1
6 Read General/Political News 49.2
7 Checked Personal Health Care Info 47.3
8 Planned Leisure Travel Trip Online 39
9 Searched Recipes/Meal Planning Suggestions 38.4
10 Read Business/Finance News 37.8
Source: The Nielsen Company, Nielsen @Plan Fall 2009 Release, Adults 18+

Top 10 Online Destinations Visited by People 65+ in November 2009 (U.S., Home and Work)
RANK Site Unique Audience (000) Unique Audience Composition (%)
1 Google Search 10,253 7.7
2 Windows Media Player 8,241 10.9
3 Facebook 7,946 7.2
4 YouTube 7,668 8.4
5 Amazon 5,679 9.3
6 Yahoo! Mail 5,638 7.8
7 Yahoo! Search 5,583 8.7
8 Yahoo! Homepage 5,383 6.8
9 Bing Web 4,510 10.1
10 Google Maps 4,397 8.4
Source: The Nielsen Company