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Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Silver surfers taking to the net
Elderly lady and keyboard
Older people are doing their banking online
Silver surfers are the most rapidly growing group of net users in the UK.

The number of people aged 55 and over using the internet in the UK has grown by nearly 90% from last year, according to a survey from net measurement firm NetValue.

Two million older people are logging on to the net, accounting for 13% of the total UK online population.

The UK has one of the highest percentages of silver surfers in Europe. Only tech-savvy Sweden and Denmark have more with 17.4% and 16.3% respectively.

Good egg

Older surfers are keen to keep their finances in order over the net, accounting for more than 40% of online banking.

Egg proved to be the most popular bank with silver surfers, showing that they are willing to experiment with new brands.

It will be good news for the banking sector and for more traditional institutions that are considering migrating to the net, said NetValue Managing Director Alkie Manias.

Digging out roots

Silver surfers are also interested in tracing their family history. Over-55s are four times more likely to visit ancestry and genealogy sites than the average internet users.

Mr Manias believes that older people are taking to the net because they have more time on their hands and spend more of that time at home.

Their interest in genealogy is probably a cultural one he thinks.

"Reaching that age you start looking back and different things, like tracing your family tree, become important," he said.

See also:

08 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
Silver surfers brave the net
26 Dec 01 | Sci/Tech
Silver surfer discovers the web
20 May 00 | UK
Silver surfers boom
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