Taiwan sees rise in internet use by seniors: government report

Taipei, March 22 (CNA) Internet use by citizens aged 60 and over in Taiwan increased by nearly three percentage points in 2020, a report by the Cabinet-level National Development Council (NDC) revealed Monday.

The report was presented by the council’s Department of Information Management during a committing meeting held to discuss digital development and information trends in Taiwan.

According to Taiwan’s top economic planner, internet use by citizens aged 60 and over surged from 53.5 percent in 2019 to 56.2 percent in 2020.

It is generally believed that the frequency at which people use the internet starts to drop off when they reach 60, as reading signs and anything small becomes increasingly difficult, department chief Hsieh Tsui-chuan (謝翠娟) said.

However, the three percent jump in internet use shown by the NDC report was the highest growth rate among all age groups in 2020.

There could be two reasons, Hsieh said. On the one hand people who are already using the internet continue to do so no matter how old they get, on the other middle-aged and elderly people may still use the internet to contact their friends, children or grandchildren.

Also in 2020, the NDC report indicated that individual internet usage in Taiwan was 86.6 percent.

In its report, the council also revealed that 65.2 percent of people surveyed over the past three months admitted to using the internet on an almost daily basis, averaging 6.7 days a week, it said.

Meanwhile, people belonging to the 20-29 age group in Taiwan are the most prone to internet addiction, at 11.2 percent, the NDC said.

This was followed by the 12-17 age group at 9.6 percent and the 30-39 age group with 9.1 percent, while addiction among other age groups — 18-19, 40-49, and 50-59 — ranged from 6.9 percent to 8.6 percent.

However, the NDC did not detail how it came to this conclusion.

The top three types of online activities in which people engage are instant messaging at 83.6 percent, followed by video entertainment (76 percent), and searching for products and information online (65.4 percent), the report showed.

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