Populus Poll

The Saga Populus Panel is the largest research panel, gauging the attitudes and opinions of today's over 50s in the UK.
Saga/Populus Panel September 2017: Saga Populus logo

Saga/Populus Panel September 2017

Executive summary


Health app

  • Three in five (58%) of Saga respondents say an app where patients can book GP appointments, see their test results and access their health records would be useful. Just under half (44%) would make a lot of use of the app. However, three in five (61%) are concerned about the security of the data on this app. Interestingly, younger respondents are more likely to be concerned about health data being available than older respondents (57% of 50-59s vs. 48% of 80-89s)

Internet usage

  • Almost all (98%) use the internet for emails. Respondents are also very likely to use the internet for shopping (79%), banking (77%) or booking holidays or hotels (74%). Less often, Saga respondents gamble (4%) or date (1%) online when at home.
  • Children (39%) are the most common source of information about using the internet, followed by information online (37%) and friends (20%). Women are more likely than men to rely on their children (44% and 35% respectively).
  • Saga respondents are also most likely to turn to their children (33%) in the event of a problem with their computer. 31% would pay an IT professional and a similar proportion (30%) would seek advice online.

Internet fraud

  • Saga respondents most often check the language used in an email (78%), email address (77%) or the way they are addressed (74%) to ensure that emails received from companies are genuine. Fewer check the time the email was sent (17%) or click on the links to see whether they take them to a genuine site (11%). Only 4% do nothing to check that the emails received from companies are genuine.

Activities since turning 50

  • Since turning 50, Saga respondents are most likely to have started to look after grandchildren (36%), taken on voluntary work (22%) or travelling the world (20%). 13% have started investing or sharedealing, 8% have started learning a foreign language and 5% have started a higher education course. Where men are more likely than women to have started looking after grandchildren (38% vs. 34% respectively) after turning 50, women are more likely than men to have started a higher education course (33% vs. 24% respectively).

Attitude towards life

  • Three quarters (76%) of Saga respondents say they are content. Nearly nine in ten (88%) are enjoying doing what they want to do and almost all (97%) want to keep doing all the things they enjoy. Less often, Saga respondents wish they had more energy to do the thing they want to do (62%), feel as if they are still looking after everyone else (7%) or are daunted about the next stage of their life (4%)
  • Where Saga respondents feel they have become increasingly confident about themselves generally (65%), their financial decisions (62%) and political opinions (56%), they are less likely to be more confident about their body image (32%), fashion sense (26%) or sex life (18%).
  • Saga respondents say they go out an average of 4 times a month, or once a week. Men are likely to go out once a month more than women (men 5 times a month, women 4 times a month). For a quarter (23%) of respondents this is the same or more than in their twenties. For just over half (56%) this is less than in their twenties.


  • Three in five (63%) respondents have watched Strictly Come Dancing, rising to three quarters (73%) of women. Half (51%) have watched the Great British Bake Off, again more popular amongst women (61% of women vs. 42% of men). Only a third (32%) had watched X Factor and fewer had watched Dancing on Ice (28%).
  • One in twenty (4%) of those that have watched Strictly Come Dancing say it has inspired them to take up dance lessons, more than twice that (13%) say it has inspired people they know to take up dance lessons. Two in five (41%) say it makes them wish they could dance better.


  • Theatre (66%) is the event that Saga respondents would most like to attend, followed by music (55%) and sport (34%). Where the theatre is more popular amongst women than men (75% vs. 58% respectively), sport is more popular amongst men than women (49% vs. 16% respectively). Few are interested in book readings by authors (8%), fundraisers (7%) or fashion shows (4%).
  • Of the more unusual events, photographic events from the likes of David Bailey are the most popular (36%), followed by film director events and book readings at local book shops (both 33%).

Populus interviewed 9,465 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 18th and 26th September 2017. Data was weighted to be nationally representative. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk

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Lisa Harris

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Angela Clifton

Deputy Head of Communications

01303 776504