Insights from our over 70s

79% of over 70s in the UK feel technology is helping public service organisations provide them and the wider community with better services

 

We ran focus groups and a UK-wide survey to capture the insight from the over 70s in our community.

In our study, we found 10 key findings from the over 70s on their use of technology and online public services.

1. Ownership and usage of mainstream tech is high

Over 70s in the UK confirmed:

  • 74% own a smartphone
  • 69% own a laptop (higher than those aged between 18-34)
  • 51% own a smart TV
  • 65% use a smartphone at least once a day

2. Comfortable in using mainstream tech

Over 70s confirmed they are 'very comfortable' in using the following devices:

  • 68% laptops
  • 65% desktop PCs (higher than other age groups)
  • 62% tablets
  • 60% smartphones
  • 49% smart TVs

3. High awareness and usage of online public services

Over 70s who are aware of and have used the following online public services:

  • 67% have applied for a passport, driving licence or bus pass online (higher than any other age group)
  • 60% have booked a GP, a hospital appointment or ordered a repeat prescription online (higher than any other age group)
  • 59% have registered to vote online
  • 49% have paid their council tax or a fine online

4. Prefer to self-serve with public service organisations

Over 70's confirmed their preference is to self-serve online with the following sectors:

  • 67% central government
  • 66% banking and financial services
  • 45% local government
  • 25% healthcare

5. Learn about new technology from their family network

Over 70s confirmed three areas where they learn about and how to use technologies:

  • 54% learn from family members
  • 30% learn from friends
  • 18% learn from YouTube

6. Mainly go online for information and research

Over 70s ranked the top 3 reasons why they go online and use technology:

  • 70% for information and research
  • 70% for communicating with friends and family
  • 61% to contact/communicate with private sector organisations

7. Healthcare provide the best public sector user experience

Over 70's rated their user experience as 'very good' for the following sectors:

  • 54% healthcare
  • 50% central government
  • 34% local government 
  • 23% social housing

In comparison, 68% of over 70's rated banking and financial services as very good.

8. Banking and financial services make the best use of tech

Over 70's who 'strongly agree' or 'agree' the following public service sectors make the best use of technology:

  • 76% healthcare
  • 62% central government
  • 62% local government

In comparison, 81% of over 70's either strongly agree or agree that the banking and financial services make the best use of technology.

9. Trust the healthcare sector more with their data

Over 70's who 'strongly agree' or 'agree' on the public service sector they trust most with their data:

  • 79% healthcare
  • 59% local government
  • 56% central government

In comparison, 76% of over 70's either strongly agree or agree that they trust the banking and financial services with their data.

10. See the benefit in technology delivering better services for them

Overall 79% of over 70's feel technology is helping public service organisations provide them and the wider community with better services.

  • 60% see the benefit of AI technology to improve medical process
  • 59% see the benefit of voting online
  • 58% see the benefit of fingerprint or facial recognition for improved security
  • 56% see the benefit of technology in communicating with their council

 

51%

of UK citizens over 70 years old own a Smart TV

65%

of over 70s use a smartphone more than once a day

68%

of over 70s are very comfortable in using a laptop

The ‘stay at home’ messaging at the height of the recent pandemic has proved to us how well technology can work to try and help fill the emotional and practical void created by the lack of human interaction.

Tony Hughes, Executive Director for Local Government, Civica

Public sector organisations have been extremely impressive at adapting to the pandemic, and as we look to build back better, I encourage them to take on board these valuable insights.

Julian David, CEO, techUK


Join the conversation as together we explore how we can improve public services for everyone - #AWordFromTheWise

A Word from the Wise study methodology
  • The A Word from the Wise citizen survey was conducted by independent market research specialist, Censuswide, on behalf of Civica. A total of 2,123 citizens over the age of 18 (including 1,001 aged 70 and over) from across the UK were surveyed in May 2020
  • The A Word from the Wise public sector leader survey was conducted by independent market research specialists, Censuswide, on behalf of Civica. A total of 120 public sector leaders (weighted for even spread of organisational type) across the UK were surveyed in May 2020
  • The A Word from the Wise focus groups were held with UK citizens aged over 70 in Aberdeen, Bristol, Lisburn and Manchester during December 2019