Well connected: Bucks pensioners leading the way online

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Bucks is one of only four areas in the country where more than half of people over 65 are online, new research has revealed.

The study by Age UK shows that 53% of older people in Bucks are online compared to the 39% UK average.

The research comes at the start of the charity’s annual ITea and Biscuits Week to enable people who have never been online to try out technology for themselves.

Age UK says that with more and more government services moving online, the research acts as a reminder that while Buckinghamshire is doing better than most, more work still needs to be done to help the other 47% of over 65s get online.

David Mortimer, head of digital inclusion at Age UK, said: “It is concerning that in some parts of the country, more than twice as many older people are able to access the benefits of being online than in other areas, particularly as there appears to be a north / south divide around internet use amongst older people.

“The reasons behind this divide are wide and varied. We know for example that women aged 75 and over who live alone are the most likely group in society to have never been online.

“In addition, older people with lower economic wealth, those living alone and those in relatively worse health are far less likely to be online.

“We hope this data will highlight to the government, local authorities and businesses the work that needs to be done across the country to help older people to get online. More services from the private and public sectors are moving online in a bid to make significant cost savings.

“However if they want older people to use these services, they need to help them get online in the first place with tailored and on-going support.”

Surrey has the most older people online (63%) while Tyne and Wear has the fewest (27%).

Fifty per cent are online in Oxfordshire.