Data Drop: 3 Things to Know About How Baby Boomers Use Tech

How Marketers Can Reach Digitally Inclined Boomers

Recent data suggests that baby boomers, often stereotyped as technologically challenged, are instead simply more selective in the data they consume. Boomers will account for 18.3% of US internet users this year—compared with 19.9% of Gen Xers. These “techy boomers” offer marketers insights into what tactics do and don’t work with the generation and how to reach them.

How do we define each generation?

Our forecast defines Gen Zers as individuals born between 1997 and 2012; millennials as born between 1981 and 1996; Gen Xers as born between 1965 and 1980; and baby boomers as born between 1946 and 1964. This means that, unlike most publicly available data, our Gen Z forecast includes teens as well as adults.

Techy boomers prioritize practicality over entertainment

Around 70% of adults ages 57 to 75 describe themselves as curious about new tech, devices, and apps, according to a December 2023 survey by Razorfish. Boomer (and some Gen X) internet users rank financial management, obtaining news in a timely manner, and securing their homes as more important digital pursuits than entertainment.

Gen Zers, in contrast, are far more likely to prioritize the entertainment value of their technology, as expanded upon in our 2023 report, "Gen Z Technology and Media Preferences." Older adults do use technology for entertainment, but their sources of entertainment do not revolve around their phones to the extent that they do among younger generations. For example, boomers spend the most time with traditional TV of all generations (an average of 4 hours, 53 minutes a day in 2023). While techy boomers may be more digitally inclined than their peers, the best way to reach them is likely still through traditional media.

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