5/1: Age is in the Eye of the Beholder?

At what point is someone considered to be old?  It’s an annual question the Marist Poll asks to determine if the current age of Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Insitute for Public Opinion, is young, middle-aged, or old.  As Dr. Miringoff faces 61, there’s good news.  According to this Marist Poll, 61 years of age is not that benchmark.  More than six in ten adults nationally — 63% — believe someone who is 61 is middle-aged.  15% think 61 is young while 22%, however, say it is old.

birthday candles on cakeClick Here for Complete May 1, 2012 USA Poll Release and Tables

Not surprisingly, there is an age gap.  While 67% of Americans 45 and older say 61 is middle-aged, 20% believe the age to be young, and only 13% report it is old.  Looking at residents younger than 45, 56% say 61 is middle-aged.  Just 7% think that age is young while nearly four in ten — 37% — say it is old.

Table: How Old is 61?

How the Survey Was Conducted

Nature of the Sample