More than half of senior citizens now use the Internet

More than half of Americans who are 65 or older now use the Internet or email.

That’s the first time data have shown more than 50 percent of seniors going online.

This study, by the Pew Research Center, found that 53 percent of older Americans use the Internet or email. And just over a third (34 percent) use social networks like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), with 18 percent of them doing so every day.

Email, having been around a long time, is widely used, with 86 percent of Internet users 65 or older using it, and 48 percent of them doing so every day.

The study, for Pew’s Internet and American Life Project, found that 69 percent of older Americans have a mobile phone, up from 57 percent two years ago. Even among those 76 or older, 56 percent have some type of cell phone, also up from 47 percent two years ago.

The so-called “G.I. Generation,” as those 76 or older are named, still has a far lower level of Internet use. Just 34 percent of them use the Internet and 21 percent have home broadband.

For the study, Princeton Survey Research Associates International quizzed 2,254 people by telephone between March 15 and April 3. Of those calls, 903 were to a cell phone, and 410 to a person with no land line.

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