London: Despite the growing use of Internet for work, shopping and socialising, as many as one in five Brit adults says they have never gone online.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, those most likely to have shunned the net are the over-65s, people who have been widowed, those on low incomes and adults without any formal qualifications.
A generation gap in technology users still exists, says the report, with only one per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds never using the Internet, compared with 60 per cent of over-65s.
However, the number of people avoiding the web has fallen by more than seven million since 2006, when 16.7 million had never ventured online.
The figures come after a report by communications watchdog Ofcom, which showed that, on average, Britons now spend almost half of their waking hours using digital media or technology.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, urged the Government to do more to help older people access the Internet.
“While many older people are embracing the benefits of getting online, such as keeping up with friends and family and making savings online, many are still missing out,” the Daily Express quoted her as saying.
“It is essential to provide older people with training and support to help them get online. Our ‘IT and biscuits week’ next month will deliver nationwide taster sessions. We will also be calling on people to share their IT skills with an older friend or relative,” she added.