At what age are you old? Study finds our perception has changed over the years staff KABC logo
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
At what age are you 'old?' Study looks at our changing perceptions
As human life expectancy has improved over the decades, the age that we think of as "old" has pushed back later in life, researchers say.

LOS ANGELES -- At what age is a person considered "old?"

Researchers found that over time the definition of old has, well, gotten older.

That is, an extensive survey found people in their mid 60s now define old age as starting around 75. But a few decades ago, people of that age defined old as starting around 71.

Researchers say the higher number reflects in part changes in life expectancy, later retirement ages and overall better functioning in our golden years.

The numbers varied depending on a person's gender, health and general happiness. Women saw old age starting about two years later than most men. Those who are lonely or in poor health gave lower ages than those in good health and happiness.

The data was pulled from a German study on aging involving more than 14,000 participants who answered questions eight times over a period of 25 years.

The original study published by the American Psychological Association can be found here, with a shorter summary here. The study was published in the APA's journal "Psychology and Aging."