Category Archives: Elders

Chart of the day: Employers ditch pension plans

From a sobering new report on the American workforce from the Pew Research Center:


Film’s neglected, distorted portrayal of the aging

Following up on our previous post about inequality in the world of American film comes another study of bias on the silver screen, this time reflecting the neglected and distorted portrayal of folks of esnl’s own vintage.

Again, from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism:

New research reveals few characters aged 60 and over are represented in film, and that prominent senior characters face demeaning or ageist references. These negative and stereotypical media portrayals do not reflect how seniors see themselves – or their lifestyles. These findings stem from two studies conducted by health and well-being company Humana Inc. and the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative at USC Annenberg. The studies also reveal that aging Americans who are more optimistic report having better health.

Led by Professor Stacy L. Smith, USC Annenberg’s study analyzed the 100 top-grossing films from 2015 to assess the portrayal of characters aged 60 and over. Humana also conducted a quantitative analysis, asking seniors to identify the lifestyle traits that are important when aging, to assess the degree to which these traits describe them and to provide their point of view on senior representation in media. Major findings include:

In film, seniors are underrepresented, mischaracterized and demeaned by ageist language.

  • The findings show just 11 percent of characters evaluated were aged 60 and over; U.S. Census data shows that 18.5 percent of the population is aged 60 and over.
  • Out of 57 films that featured a leading or supporting senior character, 30 featured ageist comments – that’s more than half of the films. Quotes included characters being referred to as “a relic,” “a frail old woman” and “a senile old man.” According to Humana’s quantitative survey, seniors report they are highly aware (95 percent), resilient (91 percent) and physically active (71 percent).
  • Only 29.1 percent of on-screen leading or supporting characters aged 60 or older engaged with technology, whereas 84 percent of aging Americans report that they use the internet weekly.
  • Of the senior characters that died on screen, 79.2 percent of deaths were a result of physical violence — such as being shot, stabbed or crushed. This does not accurately reflect causes of death for the aging population, which are heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

But that’s not real life and seniors know it – people aged 60 and over lead active social lives and value internal, psychological strengths.

Continue reading

Chart of the day II: Japan’s swiftly aging population


From the Yomiuri Shimbun:

The percentage of Japan’s elderly population aged 65 or older rose to 27.3 percent as of Sept. 15 this year, with women of the same age bracket reaching a record high of 30.1 percent of all women, according to estimates by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

The total number of elderly rose 730,000 from the previous year to 34.61 million, with the percentage among the total population of the nation rising 0.6 percentage points, according to the estimates that the ministry released in connection with Respect for the Aged Day on Monday.

Both the number and percentage continued to extend record highs. In particular, the number of elderly women rose to 19.62 million, surpassing 30 percent of the total female population for the first time.

The number of men aged 65 or older was 14.99 million, accounting for 24.3 percent of the total male population.

Chart of the day: Elders love her, the young don’t

From Gallup, the Hillary Clinton generation chasm:

BLOG Hillary

Chart of the day: Multigenerational households

While growing numbers of youth in Europe are jobless and not in school or training [see previous post], in the U.S. the Great Recession has spurred a rise of multigenerational households, reversing a trend that had dominated the last half of the 20th Century.

Another factor in the shift has been the growing percentages of the Latino and Asian populations, cultures in which multigenerational households are the norm.

From the Pew Research Center:


More From the report:

The number and share of Americans living in multigenerational family households has continued to rise, even though the Great Recession is now in the rear-view mirror. In 2014, a record 60.6 million people, or 19% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

Multigenerational family living – defined as a household that includes two or more adult generations, or one that includes grandparents and grandchildren – is growing among nearly all U.S. racial groups as well as Hispanics, among all age groups and among both men and women.  The share of the population living in this type of household declined from 21% in 1950 to a low of 12% in 1980. Since then, multigenerational living has rebounded, increasing sharply during and immediately after the Great Recession of 2007-09.

Coup government targets Brazil’s elder workers

The bloodless coup that replaced the government of President Dilma Rosseff with an acting president and ministers far more corrupt than the Rousseff’s government is adopting one of the desiderata of neoliberalism: They are targeting older workers with measures to extend the retirement age while slashing social security payments.

Rousseff has been sidelined pending her trial by the senate, an action now delayed until after the Summer Olympics, and the popular former President and Rousseff party colleague Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will likely run to ensure that the programs he began and Rousseff continued will be restored.

But until and if Lula returns, the future looks increasingly bleak for Brazil’s seniors, who will now be faced with the world’s oldest retirement age in a country with a lower average death age that countries in the industrialized North.

From teleSUR English:

Pension reform has become a national priority for Brazil’s coup-imposed President Michel Temer, who wants to establish the world’s harshest retirement age for worker’s irrespective of the level of their contributions to social security.

Although no country in the world has a minimum retirement age above 67, Temer is holding negotiations with a labor commission that has excluded many of the country’s main trade unions and involves government representatives.

Speaking to the press Friday, Presidential Chief of Staf Eliseu Padilha said the project has yet to be submitted to Congress, but it will be approved by the end of the year if the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff is confirmed by the Senate.

Analysts say the move to raise the retirement age to 70 would be unprecedented, impacting future generations in a country where the median age is 29 and life expectancy is 71.6 for men and 78.8 for woman, according to official government statistics.

Another measure announced by Temer’s government is the plan to reduce benefits paid by social security. The minimum pension individuals currently receive in Brazil is equivalent to the minimum wage, which accounts for 70 percent of pensioners.

And lest we forget, Barack Obama himself once proposed reducing Social Security payments, a move torpedoed by a guy named Bernie Sanders. . .

Chart of the day: Stunning Brexit demographics

Those who voted for it will live the least with it, while those who opposed it will bear the greatest consequences from a revolt of the elders.

From YouGov:

BLOG Brexit vote