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Older people are increasingly likely to own a smartphone, Pew finds

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There’s a well-worn cliché that older people only use flip phones but three in five people over 65 in the US now own smartphones, according to new research. 

A report on smartphone and broadband use by Pew Research published on Thursday says the number of people 65 and older who have a smartphone has increased from 53% to 61% in the past two years. The number is even higher in people 65 to 74 at 71%, but that share falls to 43% in those older than that. 

Meanwhile, broadband use is also high in the over 65s with 64% having a high speed connection at home.   

Even though smartphones are becoming more common in older adults, they’re still far less likely to own one than than younger people. Pew notes that 95% of adults under 49 now own an internet-capable phone, while 15% of all adults say they don’t have a home broadband connection at all and are “smartphone-only.”

While the study says that high-speed internet use has slightly increased overall, it says that about a quarter of the population does not have a broadband internet connection at home.

These findings come from a nationally representative survey of 1,502 U.S. adults conducted via telephone from Jan. 25 to Feb. 8, 2021.  

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