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30 August 2013 11:04
Older women the least likely group to be online in UK, figures suggest
Large numbers of older women are at risk of being socially marginalised and paying over the odds for products due to a lack of internet access, a charity has said.
Age UK spoke out after figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that older women are the least likely group in society to use the internet.
Only around one in four (26%) women aged 75 and over have used the internet, last week's ONS data showed, which is considerably lower than the figure of 41% for men in the same age category.
With many of the best
seniors travel insurance deals, as well as cheap holidays and discount vouchers being widely available online, there are now calls to make sure more older women can gain access to these cost-saving benefits.
Age UK has stressed the social and emotional benefits from getting online, with the charity citing separate research that found older people who are not online are twice as likely to say they are lonely compared to those who have internet access.
"More than any group of people, older women risk being marginalised by not being online," said Age UK's charity director general Michelle Mitchell.
"Nearly two million women aged 75 and over, many of whom admit to feeling lonely, have never been online and are missing out on the benefits of using the internet."
The ONS figures also revealed that 7.1 million UK adults have never been online, with almost half of them (45%) over the age of 75.
Mitchell pointed out that most people tend to learn internet skills as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family.
She called for more to be done to help older people get online as the Government and businesses will also benefit greatly if older people get web access.
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