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Press release 407 / 2018-10-18: Half of the 65-plus generation surf the internet

Newly released Statistical Yearbook 2018 presents national and international data on topics regarding the society, economy and environment

WIESBADEN – 50% of those aged 65 or over surfed the internet in Germany in the first quarter of 2017. In the context of presenting the Statistical Yearbook 2018 on 18 October in Berlin, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that the proportion of internet users in the 65-plus generation rose continuously (2007: 19%; 2012: 32%). 91% of the internet users at retirement age sent and received e-mails - the percentage is similar to that of younger internet surfers. However, they were reluctant to use other forms of digital communication. Just 21% of them were active on social networks. Searching for information on goods and services (86%) and using travel-related services (64%) were more popular among older internet users.

Dr. Georg Thiel, President of the Federal Statistical Office, said at the press conference focusing on the issue "Active in old age": "The 65-plus generation has an ever-growing role in our society. This is shown by the basic demographic data and by information on their participation in social life. We should perceive old age as an opportunity and we should continue to use and enhance the skills of this generation."

Between 1990 and 2017, the number of those aged 65 or over in Germany increased by roughly 5.8 million to 17.7 million people. This means that currently one in five people in this country are senior citizens (21%). Looking ahead, we can expect that in the future the population will be characterised by older people much more than today. According to the updated version of the 13th coordinated population projection, the proportion of the 65-plus generation will be 26% in 2030 and 31% in 2060.

More and more older people are in employment. Some of them want, and are able, to contribute their long work experience, while others have to work even in old age for financial reasons. The proportion of 65 to 69 year olds who are in employment has more than doubled over the last ten years. In 2007, the share had been 7.1%, while in 2017 it was as high as 16.1%.

In the 2017 Bundestag election, the 60-plus generation comprised 22.4 million people, that is, over a third (36%) of the persons entitled to vote, and more than twice as many as the under-30 generation (9.2 million or 15%). The voter turnout of those aged 60 to 69 years was 81%, which was more than the average of all age groups (76%).

The 67th edition of the Statistical Yearbook contains national and international data on issues regarding the society, economy and environment. All figures are available online. The Yearbook is available as a free online version and as a printed version that can be obtained from booksellers or be ordered at (order number: 1010110-18700-1, ISBN: 978-3-8246-1074-7, 71 euros).

On our website, you will find not only the Statistical Yearbook (only in german) but also up-to-date information on the 65-plus generation. Many of these data are visualised in a well-structured way on our theme page on demographic change (only in german).

For further information:
on data regarding older people,
tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 34 44,

on general issues regarding the Statistical Yearbook,
tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 22 25,
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