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Public Administration News  
Generations Split on Government Websites
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, December 17, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Created: Dec 21, 2010

Generational divides are opening up between younger Internet users and their older cohorts, according to research conducted in the US, but a staggering number of older internet users are getting hooked onto social networking sites.

According to the Generations 2010 survey conducted by Pew Research, online adults aged between 34-64 lead in visiting government websites—roughly seven in ten have done so—but younger internet users are catching up: 61 per cent of Millennials have visited a government website, up from 55 per cent in November 2008.

Government websites were found to be popularly used by Generation X, younger Boomers and older Boomers.

According to Pew findings only 73 per cent of teens use email, making them the generation least likely to do so.

When teens do use email, the survey found that they tended to use it more in formal situations or when communicating with adults than to communicate with friends.

In addition to email and search, a strong majority (83 per cent) of internet users have used the internet to search for health information, making it the third most popular search category for all online adults.

Over 80 per cent of all those surveyed said they would use the internet for health information. 76 per cent of the so-called silent generation use the internet for this purpose, but 85 per cent of Millenials (18-33) and 84 per cent of Generation X (34-45) use it for the same reason.

The report said: “Internet users ageg 34-64 have lost their lead over Millennials in certain activities, such as buying products or banking online, as well as in searching for health or religious information.

“Other areas, such as blogging, were once the domain of teens and Millennials, but are now relatively common throughout most age groups.”

More than 80 per cent of adults 33 and younger currently use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, but older generations have seen the most dramatic growth over the past two years.

Social networking sites used by Younger Boomers (aged 46-55) increased 30 per cent over the past two years, from 20 per cent in December 2008 to 50 per cent in May 2010.

Older Boomers (ages 56-64) also jumped 34 per cent from 9 per cent in 2008 to 43 per cent in 2010. Adults aged 74 and older who use social network sites quadrupled from 4 per cent in December 2008 to 16 per cent in May 2010.
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