When you’re in your teens, everybody seems old to you, but as you yourself get older you realize that maybe 40 isn’t exactly so ancient. There’s no doubt that what was once considered “old” isn’t necessarily the same now, and a new report highlights just how much things have changed.
According to a report out of Stanford University, whether folks are considered old should be based on the percentage of chance they’d die within the next year. So, for someone who’s got a 1% or less chance of dying in the next year they’d be considered “middle aged,” while someone with a 2% chance would be classified as “old,” and someone with a 4% or higher chance would be deemed as “very old” or “elderly.”
Now, with folks living longer than ever before, what age constitutes those classifications has changed dramatically. For example, for men, 44 was considered “middle aged” in the 1920s, and for women they too fell in that class in their mid 40s. By comparison, today men don’t fall into “middle age” until 60, while women reach middle age at 65.
As for “old,” in the 1920s, that would be 55 for men and late fifties for women, while today those numbers increase to 70 for men and 73 for women. And “very old” in the 1920s was 65 for men and 67 for women, while today it’s 76 for men and 80 for women.
Source: CBS News