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Internet use by UK over-55s high

Older people in the UK are among Europe's most confident internet users, according to new figures.

Statistics suggest that 43% of people aged 55 to 74 in the UK now frequently use the internet, more than in France and Germany.

Age UK, a charity which campaigns for the elderly, welcomed the results, but said there was still work to be done to get more people online.

Helena Herklots of Age UK said: "Older internet users are telling us that they are better connected to their loved ones because of the internet. However, the challenge remains to enable the six million older people who have never been online before to use the internet."

The charity is running a 'myfriends online week', to encourage older people to use the web to connect with friends and family.

Linda Robson, actress and Age UK ambassador, said: "It's great to hear that older Brits are amongst those leading the way in Europe on internet use. As a recent convert to the online world I know the fear that people might face when going online for the first time, but it really isn't as scary as you think and the benefits are fantastic."

The UK is 7th in the Eurostat list, well above the EU average of 28%, but lagging behind Scandinavia, with more than half of 55-74 year-olds regularly surf the web in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The survey of people across the European Union was carried out by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

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