15 Cities With the Most Digitally-Connected Seniors

Happy senior couple using computer at home
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on HotDog.com.

One of the most prominent and likely enduring changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the rapid shift toward new technologies that facilitate remote communication, entertainment, learning, and work.

Older Americans generally have lower rates of technology adoption than their younger counterparts. For example, 78% of 65-and-over households have internet access compared with 89% of households overall. But seniors are more digitally connected today than ever before.

Technology has enabled seniors to endure some of the most trying aspects of the pandemic. It has done so by allowing them to stay in touch with others during isolation and providing them with access to critical services such as grocery delivery and telehealth visits.

A recent AARP report found that technology spending among older adults nearly tripled during the pandemic, and smartphones were one of the top three tech purchases for that demographic. AARP also reported that significantly more seniors texted, used video chat, and emailed during the pandemic than they did before.

To find the locations with the most digitally-connected seniors, researchers at HotDog.com analyzed data from the US Census Bureau and created a composite score based on the following factors:

  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone

Here are the U.S. metros with the most digitally-connected seniors.

15. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA

Atlanta, Georgia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 78.5
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 65.6%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 72.5%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 75.4%

14. Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, Florida
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 78.9
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 64.2%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 74.1%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 75.8%

13. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Dallas, Texas
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 79.9
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 64.3%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 73.3%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 77.5%

12. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

Portland, Oregon waterfront
Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 81.5
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 66.8%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 77.4%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 73.3%

11. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Downtown Seattle
Mark Payne / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 82.6
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 70.4%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 75.7%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 72.5%

10. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 83.4
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 68.3%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 72.6%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 76.5%

9. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA

The skyline of San Diego, where median rent is well below median mortgage payments
Dancestrokes / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 84.4
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 68.5%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 75.3%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 75.4%

8. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Denver skyline
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 85.2
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 69.2%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 78.6%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 72.9%

7. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 85.6
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 65.9%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 77.4%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 76.8%

6. Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA

Sacramento, California
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 86.5
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 66.6%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 78.2%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 75.8%

5. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA

San Francisco neighborhood.
Bertl123 / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 86.7
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 69.8%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 74.5%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 76.2%

4. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ

Phoenix, Arizona
welcomia / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 87.0
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 66.5%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 78.0%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 77.1%

3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

The skyline of San Jose, which has a lower median rent than median mortgage payment
stellamc / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 88.2
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 71.5%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 76.0%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 75.6%

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Washington D.C.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 90.9
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 71.4%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 78.9%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 75.6%

1. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

Austin, Texas waterscape
Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 93.2
  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet: 68.7%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop: 79.6%
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone: 79.1%

Methodology

Man using too much data on his phone, tablet and laptop
Bacho / Shutterstock.com

To find the U.S. metropolitan areas with the most digitally-connected seniors, researchers at HotDog.com analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample and created a composite score based on the following factors:

  • Percentage of 65+ households with high-speed internet
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a computer or laptop
  • Percentage of 65+ households with a smartphone

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis.

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