Seniors Spurring Internet Growth in Canada; E-Commerce Growing: StatsCan Study

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Seniors spur web growth in Canada: StatsCan

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OTTAWA - The number of Internet users in Canada continues to grow, spurred by seniors who have discovered a new digital lifestyle.

According to a new report by Statistics Canada, 83 per cent of Canadians aged 16 or older were Internet users last year, up from 80 per cent in 2010.

The number of seniors using the web grew by 20 per cent in the two-year span, with 48 per cent of Canadians 65 or older saying they went online last year.

It's likely just a matter of time until seniors are no longer lagging other age groups in Internet usage, said Statistics Canada spokesman Mark Uhrbach.

"The use of the Internet may not only be age (based) but there's also sort of a cohort effect," Uhrbach said.

"Once people start using the Internet they're not likely to stop using it as they age. So as young users and boomer-aged users move through the age cohorts perhaps we'll see that trend continue."

Mobile Internet usage exploded in two years by about 75 per cent. While just 33 per cent of those surveyed in 2010 said they accessed the Internet on a phone or tablet, it was up to 58 per cent in 2012. About 85 per cent of younger Canadians aged 16 to 24 were mobile Internet users last year.

Statistics Canada also saw big growth in online shopping, with the value of web orders placed by Canadians hitting $18. …