Almost half of Americans say they’ve been personally discriminated against because of their age

Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Zety reveal Americans’ experiences with ageism. (Photo by Vlad Sargu on Unsplash)

Nearly half of Americans believe they have been discriminated against based on their age, according to new research.

The survey of 2,000 American adults found that, from work to dating, 47 percent believe they’ve been victims of age-based discrimination.

In addition, results revealed that four in 10 respondents have witnessed age-based discrimination.

The top way people have either personally experienced or witnessed ageism was not getting a job — at 47 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Zety, the survey examined respondents’ attitudes toward age and, in turn, their thoughts and experiences with agism.

It found that fifteen percent of respondents have been stood up on a date for their age — and another 15 percent have been dumped.

Results also found that 47 percent of respondents agreed that people over 50 are looked down upon in society.

Furthermore, 56 percent agreed that once they’re over 50, women are looked at more negatively than men.

It’s no surprise then, that the age in which Americans believe the sexes can be affected by ageism differ — at 37 for women compared to 41 for men.

Despite being affected by ageism or witnessing it, 33 percent of respondents admitted to occasionally catching themselves viewing people in a negative light due to their age.

Another three in 10 Americans believe that ageism should not be considered a form of discrimination.

Still, results found that age appears to be a top concern for Americans in the workplace.

Four in 10 worry their age may negatively affect their ability to be promoted — and it is most prevalent for baby boomer respondents, at 51 percent.

Age-based worries aren’t exclusive to older Americans, though.

In fact, three in 10 millennials worry that they’ll be out of a job in five years as their skills might be outdated by then. Baby boomers also shared this worry, at 32 percent.

“Arguably, the most important thing we can do is to keep our resumes up to date,” said Bart Turczynski, Editor-in-Chief at Zety. “If not being up-to-date is a concern, there are remedies: take on side-projects, learn new skills and tell it on your resume.”

After worrying they may be out of a job in this short amount of time, 31 percent of millennials and 48 percent of baby boomers worry potential employers will turn them down after figuring out their age from their resumes.

When it comes to concerns regarding the job hunt — 48 percent of baby boomers surveyed said the worry they will be turned down for a job once their age is figured out from their resume.

This seems to affect respondents’ confidence in their resume — as 47 percent of millennials and 36 percent of baby boomers agreed that writing a resume is a challenge for them.

“Only 34 percent of us don’t find writing resumes a challenge,” said Turczynski. “However, your perfect resume is in you. Zety’s resume builder app, has helped more than 500,000 people bring it out.”


  1. Not given a job 47%
  2. Passed on for an interview 39%
  3. Passed on for a promotion 32%
  4. Not been allowed to apply for a job 19%
  5. Let go at a job 17%
  6. Stood up for a date 15%
  7. Dumped/broken up with 15%


  1. Someone was not given a job 40%
  2. Someone was let go at a job 34%
  3. Someone was passed on for a promotion 30%
  4. Someone was passed on for an interview 27%
  5. Someone was not allowed to apply for a job 19%
  6. Someone was dumped/broken up with 18%
  7. Someone was stood up for a date 13%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

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