People over 65 are now the most active online users while young women are using the internet more than their male counterparts, according to figures from the latest annual Ofcom report on communications trends released today.

According to The Ofcom Communications Market Report 2007, "silver surfers" over 65 are now more active on the web than younger people. The report found:

  • 16 per cent of over 65-year olds now using the web, and spend on average 42 hours online a month - a higher average than any other age group.
  • One quarter of all UK internet users are over 50, and this group accounts for 30 per cent of total time spent online.

The Ofcom Communications Market Report 2007 also found that in the 25-34 year-old age group, women spent more time using the internet than men. It reported that:

  • 2.18 million 25-34 year-old women use the internet in the UK, accounting for 55 per cent of total time spent online, while just
  • 1.83 million 25-34 year-old men in the UK use the internet.

The growing proportion of young women using the internet reflect the growth of more female orientated web content, including the explosion in social networking.

More media, less cost

According to the Ofcom reports. people in the UK now spend 50 hours a week on the phone, surfing the internet, watching TV or listening to the radio.

The Ofcom Communications Market Report 2007 highlights an increase of 158 per cent in daily internet usage since 2002, with daily average internet usage now 36 minutes. Over the same period, mobile phone usage - now 4 minutes a day on average - increased by 58 per cent, while use of fixed line phones fell by 8 per cent to 7 minutes a day.

The figures from Ofcom's report also show a decline in the use of traditional media during the period; from 2002 to 2006, Ofcom figures show a 4 per cent drop in TV viewing, to 3 hours 36 minutes a day on average, and a 2 per cent decline in radio listening to 2 hours and 50 minutes daily.

The amount the average household spends on communications services measured by Ofcom fell over the year from 2005 to 2006, from £94.03 to £92.65 a month.