April 3, 2014

Pew Research Center

About 27 percent of U.S. adults age 65 or older own a tablet or e-reader device while just 18 percent of seniors own a smartphone, according to Pew’s new report on seniors’ digital habits.

That’s the opposite of the pattern seen in all U.S. adults, who own smartphones at a higher rate (55 percent) than tablets or e-readers (43 percent).

All such device use among older adults follows the “elite” patterns seen in the overall adult population, Pew found: More education and higher household income are correlated with higher rates of ownership.

Meanwhile, more seniors embrace the Internet every year, but they continue to lag behind the overall population. Fifty-nine percent of seniors go online, while 86 percent of all U.S. adults do. But higher-income seniors and college-educated seniors go online at about the same rate as the general population.

Just 27 percent of all seniors use social media, compared with 63 percent of all adults, and older women are more likely to use social media than older men are. But they’re not tweeting: only 3 percent of all seniors reported using Twitter.

Related: 58% of US adults say they have a smartphone — and other sobering stats from Pew

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Sam Kirkland is Poynter's digital media fellow, focusing on mobile and social media trends. Previously, he worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a digital editor,…
Sam Kirkland

More News

Back to News