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Social Media and Technology Use Among Adults 50+

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AARP commissioned a national telephone survey of the 50+ population, including an oversample of Hispanic adults age 50 and older, to gather information on this age group's use of social media and technology and thereby better serve all Americans age 50+ through its website.

Key findings revealed:

  • Two out of five (40%) adults age 50 and over consider themselves extremely (17%) or very (23%) comfortable using the Internet.  One out of five (21%) Hispanic adults age 50 and over consider themselves extremely (6%) or very (15%) comfortable using the Internet.
  • The majority of those 50+ who access the Internet do so from a desktop computer (57%).  One-quarter use a laptop (26%), 4 percent use smartphones/blackberries, 4 percent use mobile phones, and one-quarter (27%) do not access the Internet.  The majority of Hispanic adults 50+ say they do not access the Internet (55%).
  • Approximately one-quarter of all those 50+ use social media websites (27%) with Facebook being by far the most popular (23%).  Approximately one-fifth of all Hispanics 50+ use social media websites (21%) with Facebook being the most popular (13%). 


The survey was conducted via telephone by GfK Custom Research. Questions were included on GfK’s OmniTel and Hispanic OmniTel surveys during May 12-17, 2010. A nationally representative sample of 1,360 adults age 50 and older, as well as 503 Hispanic adults age 50 and older, completed the interviews.  For additional information, contact the author, Jean Koppen, at 202-434-6311. (13 pages)

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