A new survey of almost 3,000 adults by the Pew Research Center reveals that most people do not consider themselves “old.” When asked what constitutes “old,” the average respondent recorded that condition beginning at 68 years. Differences of opinion on the matter abounded, depending on the age of the respondent.
For example, those under 30 were more likely to believe 60 years constitutes old age, while those in middle age said it’s closer to 70. The over-65 group said they believe “old” does not apply until one reaches 75 years.
Says New York State University sociologist Russell Ward, who was not involved with the survey, “What you find is the older people are, the more people push back the age that is old.” According to Frederick Augustyn, Jr. of the Popular Culture Association, baby boomers, who strongly identified themselves with youth earlier decades, resist being categorized as “old.”