The sharpest growth in the use of mobile devices to get news in America is among citizens ages 50 and older, according to a new study.
The Pew Research study in March, which was released this week, found 85 percent of U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device, compared with 72 percent just a year ago and slightly more than half in 2013.
The surge has been fueled by seniors, with roughly two-thirds of Americans ages 65 and older now get news on a mobile device, about 67 percent.
It represents a 24-percentage-point increase over the past year and about three times the share of four years ago, when less than a quarter of those 65 and older got news on mobile devices.
Pew Research said the “heightened adoption of mobile devices for news among older adults is due in part to the fact that they had considerably more room to grow than young adults.”
But the strong growth also was found in the next-highest age bracket.
“Among 50- to 64-year-olds, 79 percent now get news on mobile, nearly double the share in 2013. The growth rate was much less steep – or nonexistent – for those younger than 50.”
Pew said news use, like Internet use and mobile ownership in general, was already very high among younger adults, leaving little room for growth compared with older adults.
“For example, 94 percent of both those ages 18 to 29 and 30 to 49 get news on mobile – unchanged since 2016 for 18- to 29-year-olds and only a 9-point rise for the 30-49 group. By contrast, among those ages 50 to 64 and those 65 and older, increases of 16 and 24 points respectively in the past year have resulted in majorities in every age group now getting news on mobile.”
While Pew said it also recently reported a sharp rise in overall technology adoption by seniors, it doesn’t mean they like it.
“Across all adults, a clear majority of those who get news on both mobile devices and desktop/laptop computers prefer to get their news on mobile (65 percent). But those 65 and older are the only age group in which less than half prefer to do so: Only 44 percent prefer mobile, compared with about three-quarters of those 18 to 29 (77 percent), figures that have remained steady for both groups over the past year. In the next-highest age group, those 50 to 64, about half now prefer to get their news on mobile (54 percent), up from about four-in-ten (41 percent) a year ago.”