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According to a report by Age UK older people in the south are more likely to use the internet than those in the north of England.
Four counties in England where more than half of over-65s use the internet are Surrey, Suffolk, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.
Surrey had the highest proportion with 63%, while Tyne and Wear had the lowest with less than 28%.
Is this just a matter of wealth or something more cultural?
The beer is much better up north so people actually sit in a pub and talk to each other face to face, the way it used to be before the internet.
The press release (pdf file) doesn't give enough information to be able to see if something else is going on. The Understanding Society survey talks to about 100,000 people aged 10+ but, according to the TO's link, only about 5,000 are 65+.
I'd want to know, how many of those are own households, how many live with younger relatives, how many don't go online directly but have relatives who do it for them.
Amongst my own circle, in the Scottish Borders, I know more older people who are online than those who aren't. That's my very limited personal experience but it makes me want to know more about the survey than I can find.
The charity also said poorer people, those living alone and those in relatively poor health were least likely to access internet services.
That category describes me perfectly, but I am in daily contact with the Internet and I am pretty sure that I am not alone in this respect! I don't think enough people were included in the survey - 40,000 is just a drop-in-the-ocean surely.
I would like to play "Devils Advocate" and also speak for my 92yo Mother.
Why should one want to go "On-Line"?
Why should one want to spend ones time, limited supply of space, and money, on a PC with an Internet Connection?
I have not yet heard any 'well made' argument to persuade me, other than that the Government would like me to, and then, I hear that many of the Government Forms & Websites are not compatible with the Computers, one might currently buy, anyway!
Like all surveys and information gathering,there is always the element of doubt, especially if that information is obtained on a selective audience. Personally I will never accept these sort of reports, because from own experiences, figures and supposedly facts can be manipulated to suit the object of the exercise.
I know a number of silver surfer's who use the internet, mainly for chatting with friend's or shopping. Gaming doesn't come into their lifestyle at all. North-south divide is probably more South inclined, because that's the way it always seems to follow. Felt hats and cloth caps might be a way of comparison?.
There isn't a north south divide but there is the south east of England and the rest. I live in Devon and I suspect that the figures would rank among those for the "north". I live further from London than York but according to surveys like this I am classified along with Surrey.
ps Manchester is also closer to London than where I live.
According to the survey Devon has a 55/45 split for off/on line. That's more use than Greater London (60/40).
Interesting figures for Cornwall which has no large cities. The Devon figures could be skewed by Plymouth and Exeter. The problem with this survey is that it doesn't divide between rural and urban areas. I have cable and good speeds but just a mile away (rural) they have dreadful speeds and therefore use is down. However that doesn't explain Tyne and Wear. I suspect that more analysis is required.
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