Although the number of adults who use the internet regularly is increasing, 7.1m have never logged on. Those who do not receive the benefits of being online are disproportionately older and less well-off, the data said.
And 3.1m over-75s – or 65.5 per cent of that age group – do not go online. This is compared to 33.4 per cent of those aged between 65 and 74, and 15 per cent of 55-64 year-olds. Of those in employment to have never used the internet, 60 per cent earn less than £299 a week.
Although the surprising figures showed that millions of people have never gone online, the picture is improving. Two years ago almost 9m people had never used the internet, and a year ago it was 8.1m.
Among those who had never used the internet, almost six in 10 were female.