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Web & Print Design - New Media Communication - Marketing Victoria BC Canada

80% of Canadians use the Internet, or the myth of the Age Digital Divide

Statistics Canada released today the results for the Canadian Internet Use Survey (2009) – and the results are somewhat startling, especially for British Columbia and Victoria. Overall, 80% of Canadians aged 16 and older (21.7 million) use the internet for personal reasons, up from 73% in 2007.

British Columbia has the highest rate by province at 85% (tied with Alberta) while Victoria has one of highest urban internet use at 86% (Calgary and Saskatoon were at 89%). With Victoria noted has having a greater proportion of older/retired residents, the following statistics reveal that internet use among those age 45+ is the fastest growing segment, illustrating that the adage ‘online’ is a young persons game no longer applies. The digital divide by age is a myth I have been trying to dispel in seminars, and now the numbers are proving anecdotal observations.

On the basis of age, Internet use increased among all groups but at different rates. In 2009, 98% of people aged 16 to 24 went online, up slightly from 96% two years earlier. Of those aged 45 or older, two-thirds (66%) went online during 2009, up from 56% in 2007. This age group, traditionally slower to adopt and use the Internet, accounted for 60% of all new Internet users since 2007.

A similar proportion of men (81%) and women (80%) used the Internet in 2009.

Internet use by Province

Internet use by Province

Of the prevalent online activities, email once again comes out top with 93%. The list of activities range from seeking health information, shopping, downloading music to communicating with government (27%) and contributing content (also 27%)

The last note is interesting – when drilled down to age groups the percentage of internet users who contribute content increases to 45% for those under 30. The parameters which define contributing content includes blogs and social media. That number coincides with Facebook stats for Canada, which shows the rise of social media as a primary tool for all internet users is growing at a faster rate than any other use.

Canadian Online Activities

Canadian Online Activities

From PowerShift Media

As the main interest of this post is the older demographic, the Canadian Facebook stats on the +45 age group are appropriate:

45-54 year olds
62% Female
38% Male
Each has an average of 49 friends
75% are parents
They make up 9% of the Facebook population.
They represent 74.8% of all online 45-54 year olds†
How are they using Facebook?
65% use it more than email
60% use it more than cell phones
49% use it more than any other communication tool


45-54 year old Facebook behavior (in the past week):

55% add/use an application
28% become a fan of a page
64% upload/view/share a photo
29% RSVP to an event
50% share/post/watch a video
58% read their news feed
31% send a gift
55+ year olds
59% Female
41% Male
Each has an average of 51 friends
81% are parents
They make up 6% of the Facebook population.
They represent 61% of all online 55+ year olds†
How are they using Facebook?
60% use it more than email
69% use it more than cell phones
40% use it more than any other communication tool
55+ year old Facebook behavior (in the past week):
51% add/use an application
25% become a fan of a page
51% upload/view/share a photo
30% RSVP to an event
46% share/post/watch a video
51% read their news feed
30% send a gift
†Statistics are  from Comscore July 2009

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2 Comments

  1. User-Reply
    February 2, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Choke the internet and you will choke the technological development of the nation. NO NO NO NO …

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