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Search Is No. 2, Email No. 1 Online Activity Across All Age Groups, Pew Study Reports

According to the new Generations 2010 report from the Pew, “87% of all US adults who use the Internet also use search engines. Pew reporting that 83% search for health information online — the third most popular online activity.

Here’re the biggest online trends:

  • Email
  • Search engine use
  • Seeking health information
  • Getting news
  • Buying products
  • Making travel reservations or purchases
  • Doing online banking
  • Looking for religious information
  • Rating products, services, or people
  • Making online charitable donations
  • Downloading podcasts

Searching for health information online would presumably be something that older adults do more often than others, but Pew’s survey of 2,200 US adults shows it’s the number three activity in each adult age group. Social networking and online video are two other activities worth noting.

pew generations online in 2010

Among the major trends in online activities:

  • While youngest generations are still significantly more likely to use social network sites, fastest growth has come from internet users 74 and older: social network site usage for this oldest cohort has quadrupled since 2008, from 4% to 16%.
  • Online video watching is rising dramatically at all age levels — it’s jumped from 52% in 2008 to 66% this year.
  • 51% of all online adults listen to music online, compared with 34% in June 2004.
  • As of May 2010, 53% of online adults have used a classified ads website such as Craigstlist, up from 32% in Sep’07.


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