The growing popularity of tablet computers is helping take more older people online according to new research published by Ofcom.
The media and telecoms regulator says the number of 65 year olds or over who use the web rose by more than a quarter in the past year, a trend it assigns to a three-fold growth in tablet use in the same period.
Ofcom’s Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report shows that 83% of UK adults now go online, up from 79% in 2012, and that the proportion of people aged over 65 who do so rose from 33% in 2012 to 42% in 2013.
Use of tablets such as Apple’s iPad by those aged 65-74 has increased from 5% in 2012 to 17% in 2013.
The report also shows that 98% of adults aged under 35 years now go online, while 91% of 45-54s say they use the web.
Predictably younger people spend more time online, with 16-24 year olds using the web for an average of 24 hours 12 minutes each week – 8 hours more than the UK average.
Although desktop computers, laptops or netbooks are still the most popular way to access the internet (78%), almost a third of adults (30%) also use a tablet and 59% access the web via smartphone.