Though young adults remain the heaviest users of social networking sites, older users are fueling much of the growth: 42% of online adults age 50+ now use social networking sites, nearly twice as many as the 22% who did so a year earlier, according to a study by Pew Research.

Looking to connect with friends and family, older adults are now the fastest-growing demographic among social networking users: 47% of surveyed online adults age 50-64 say they use social networking sites, up 88% from the 25% who did so in April 2009. That trend is even more dramatic among the oldest online adults: 26% of those age 65+ use social networking sites, up 100% from 13% a year earlier.

By contrast, 86% of online adults age 18-29 say they use social networking sites, up just 13% from the 76% who did so a year earlier.

Below, other findings from the study Older Adults and Social Media, issued by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Project for Excellence in Journalism.

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