by: Dick Stroud 

Half of all Americans over age 60 use the Internet, as do more than 80% of Baby Boomers, according to new research from Focalyst, a joint venture between AARP and The Kantar Group, one of the world's largest research and consultancy networks.

Focalyst's Online Activity Report, which is based on a survey of more than 30,000 U.S. consumers ages 42 and older, also reveals significant new findings about online tenure: nearly one-third of all online Boomers—21 million people—have been using the Internet for more than 10 years. More than 7 million members of what Focalyst calls the Golden Generation, those born before 1946, have been online for more than a decade, as well.

The study also finds that 33 million Baby Boomers use the Internet every day, along with 10 million members of the Golden Generation. I have to tell you Focalyst: I wish you had chosen another name than ‘Golden’.

While emailing is their primary activity, these users are also going online to make travel arrangements, check the news, find health information, bank and shop. It seems that 30% of the online Baby Boom Generation shops online at least a few times a month—the same percentage as those born between 1965 and 1988. As younger members of the Baby Boom Generation enter their 50s, their incomes are likely to increase and, with that, their Internet usage and activities.

The research found that regardless of age, online shoppers share similar levels of concern about identity theft, misuse of financial information, and not getting what was ordered, though these fears do not stop the vast majority from shopping online.

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