The digital divide between young people and seniors is narrowing

The digital divide between young people and seniors is narrowing

The digital divide that separates young people and seniors is narrowing, since 8 out of 10 French people over 65 now connect to the internet every month, according to figures from Médiamétrie revealed on Thursday.

This proportion is five times higher than in 2008, according to data from Médiamétrie’s Internet Year 2023, a vast panorama which covers both uses and content.

The digital divide persists, because 8 million people in Europe “do not use the internet,” but it is shrinking“, commented Catherine Poullet, director of internet audience measurement at Médiamétrie, during the presentation of this report.

We are witnessing a homogenization of digital uses which extends to all generations“, added Bertrand Krug, digital and press director of Médiamétrie.

Seniors are even the “growth engine” of internet use, since generations aged 15 to 65 are already almost entirely connected (95% to 100% depending on age).

However, disparities exist within the “senior” category: half of those aged 75 and over do not use the internet, according to Ms. Poullet. In addition to this “very old” category, the other part of “non-Internet users” is located at the other generational extreme, children under 10 years old.

Another indicator of the fact that the uses of seniors are getting closer to those of younger people: for the first time, the smartphone is the means mainly used by those over 65 to connect (57% of time spent online, compared to 28% for the computer and 15% on tablets).

If we take into account all age groups, 79% of time spent on the internet is from a smartphone.

Finally, the average age of Internet users increased from 43 years in 2018 to 45 years in 2023.

Overall, 47.4 million French people connect to the internet every day, or 1.8 million more than in 2022.

Likewise, the daily time spent on the web is increasing, to 2h24 on average (+50 minutes in 5 years), more than a third of which is on social networks and messaging.

This level almost equals the peaks reached during the Covid crisis and confinements, in 2020 and 2021.

Logically, the daily surfing time is different depending on the age: 3h58 for 15-24 year olds and 3h06 for 11-14 year olds, compared to 1h32 for those aged 65 and over.