Only two in five (37 percent) pensioners living alone have access to the web, says the Office of National Statistics.

However a report published by the organisation revealed that more than three quarters (79 percent) of single-person households under the retirement age have a net connection.

Furthermore, of those households with children, 63 percent of lone parent families had access to the web compared to just 23 percent in 2001. Although, 88 percent of two-parent households have a net connection.

ONS said the most common reason for not having a internet connection was 'don't need the internet' with 39 percent citing this reason. Meanwhile, 18 percent said the high cost of equipment was the primary reason in not having web access and 15 percent said they couldn't afford monthly subscription costs.

The report also revealed online purchases made up 8 percent of all reatil sales during July 2010, while more than two in five (43 percent) Brits that accesed the web in 2009 interacted with public authroities via the net.

See also: Super-fast broadband will benefit elderly & disabled