Do the Math: Big Data Brings Good News About Aging!
By Roberto Muñiz
At Parker, we've always known that aging is a positive thing, a fantastically exciting phase of life synonymous with richness of experience, relevance, and vitality. We don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk when it comes to the changing conversation around aging in America – so we launched a nationwide survey to hear how people across the country really feel about growing older.
We were excited with the results-which confirm that the nation is rapidly changing its attitude about aging and embracing this part of life like never before. Among the most surprising survey findings, 71% of Americans do not fear or worry about aging very much at all! In fact, nearly half of those we spoke with (49%) use upbeat language and words including "hopeful," "relevant," and "vibrant" to describe the experience of growing older in America today.
Almost 78% of Americans do not consider people in their 50s or 60s to be "old." Indeed, if you're a fan of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Warren Buffet, or master yoga instructor Tao Porchon-Lynch, you'll be pleased to learn that our survey found that the vast majority of Americans (62%) believe that 80 isn't too old to serve in government, be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or practice and teach yoga.
What was especially heartening about our survey was that each of these findings was remarkably consistent across gender, race, ethnicity, geography, and household income and education levels. That means, America is getting on the same page when it comes to a more positive and progressive view of aging.
Is there work to be done to continue to help shift people's perspectives about growing older, and challenge misperceptions about ageism (like the one about older adults not willing to adopt new technology)? Absolutely. In fact, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (59%) feel that not enough technology today focuses on the lifestyles of older people-a powerful consumer demographic that is embracing tech and social media like never before.
We plan to revisit Parker's "Aging in America" survey each year to track the conversation-a conversation in which we all have an important role to play (#WithIt). For now, our first annual survey is a powerful proof point that confirms what we've seen and experienced in our communities for years. The conversation around and about aging is changing, and America is listening.