Size matters: locality of residence and media use in later life

Dennis Rosenberg, Galit Nimrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Various factors determine the use of media in later life. Nevertheless, spatial inequalities among older media users have been accorded little attention in academic research. This study aimed to explore differences in variety (number) and intensity (duration) of both traditional and new media use among older adults residing in various types of localities. Data were obtained from the second wave of the ACT (Ageing + Communication + Technology) cross-national survey, comprising 7,927 internet users aged 60 and over from seven countries. The statistical analyses used in the study were chi-square and analysis of variance tests, and linear regression as a multivariate technique. The results indicated that spatial differences concern variety of media use to a greater extent than its intensity, especially with regard to use of traditional media via new devices. Overall, residents of large cities exhibited greater variety and intensity of media use than did their counterparts from smaller localities, especially rural ones. These findings supported the social stratification hypothesis – according to which individuals from more-privileged social backgrounds have better media literacy, use media to a greater extent and benefit from its use more than people from disadvantaged groups. The findings should be considered by practitioners and policy makers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2323-2342
Number of pages20
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2021


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