Exploring Age-Related Patterns in Internet Access: Insights from a Secondary Analysis of New Zealand Survey Data


  • Edgar Pacheco Victoria University of Wellington


internet access, digital divide, digital inclusion, social media, connectivity, digital inequality


For over two decades Internet access has been a topic of research and debate. Up-to-date evidence about key predictors such as age is important considering not only the complexities of access to the online medium but also the ever-changing nature of the Internet. This paper attempts to provide a stocktake of current trends in Internet access in New Zealand and their association with age. It relies on secondary analysis of data from a larger online panel survey of 1,001 adult users. Chi-square test of Independence and Cramer’s V were used for analysis. A key finding uncovers an emerging gap in the quality of Internet access. While fibre is the predominant type of broadband connection at home, older adults are significantly less likely to have it, and more likely to adopt wireless broadband. Also, a large majority across all age groups have a positive view of the Internet. This was higher among older adults who, interestingly, were slightly more likely to say that their concern about the security of their personal details online has increased in the last year. The implications of the results are discussed and some directions for future research are proposed.