Age discrimination suspected across all age groups

One-quarter of consumers feel they have been discriminated against at some point in their life because of their age.  The 65 – 79 year olds are most likely to feel this way (36%), but 26% of 18 – 30 year olds and 26% of 45 – 64 year olds also feel they have been discriminated against due to their age.  Most consumers indicated they suspected job-related age discrimination, with 45 – 64 year olds more likely than 65 – 79 year olds to say they were told directly or it was implied that they were “too old”.  About 10% of all 18 – 30 year olds were told directly or made to feel that they were “too young” for a job or workplace opportunity.

How to described older individuals

Consumers in general prefer the terms “senior” or “senior citizen” to describe people over the age of 64.  These descriptions are even more strongly supported by consumers 65 – 79 years of age.  “Aged” and “elderly” are the least preferred names by all age groups.  Only 3% of consumers rated the term “seniors” very negatively and 4% rated “senior citizens” very negatively compared to 16% who rated “elderly” and 23% who rated “aged” this way.  Only 1% of 65 – 79 year olds rated “seniors” very negatively while 36% gave the most negative response for the term “aged.”

Percentage who rated each name a “4” or “5” on a 5-point scale
(SCALE:  1 = Very negative, 5 = Very positive)

Names for persons 65 and older Total sample 18 – 30 year olds 65 – 79 year olds
Seniors 67% 69% 76%
Senior citizens 64% 68% 75%
Medicare-eligible 47% 53% 50%
The elderly 40% 52% 36%
Aged 33% 39% 27%
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