30+ Age Discrimination Statistics in the Spotlight: Ageism Unmasked [2024]

December 12, 2023 0 Comments

Are we past that time when ageism affected careers, or does it still prevail?

Are workplace biases holding you back? You are not alone!

60% of older employees have seen or experienced workplace age discrimination.

While applying for a new job, applicants aged between 64 to 66 face the most age discrimination compared to other applicants.

If older people lose jobs, they are highly likely to remain unemployed for a very long period. And with increasing unemployment, the situation is going to be worse in the coming years.  

Let’s dive into revealing age discrimination statistics and empower your career journey. 

Top Age Discrimination Statistics: Editor’s Pick

50% of workers who witnessed age discrimination did not report it
  1. The number of active workers aged between 65 and 75+ is predicted to grow by 75% by 2024. 
  2. Nearly 75% of women experience ageism in the workplace. [7]
  3. 60% of males faced age discrimination in the workplace. [7]
  4. 77% of African Americans/Blacks report experiencing age discrimination at work. [7]
  5. More than $91 million has been recovered in ageism-related lawsuits since 1967. [6]
  6. The number of age discrimination charges filed with the EEOC decreased by 44.75% from 2011 to  2021. [11]
  7. 75% of employees admitted that ageism is a barrier to finding a suitable job. [3]

General Age Discrimination Statistics

One in every two people has moderately or highly ageist attitudes. [4]

It has been scientifically proven that ageism is unrelated to a person’s ability to adapt and innovate. [4]

Over 20% of US citizens aged 65 or older were working or looking for work as of February 2019. This number is twice as compared to data from 1985. [1]

From here we can conclude that as health, life expectancy, and resources are increasing, so is the people’s will to keep working longer. 

What does ageism look like in the workplace?

  • The share of workers aged between 55 and older has doubled in the last quarter. [1]
  • 67% of employees aged between 40-65 plan to continue to work after they turn 66.  [1]
  • 33% of employees aged 45 or older feel they could lose their jobs within the next year because of their age.  [1]
  • Unlike popular opinion, workers aged between 25 and 54 are only expected to grow by 2%. [1]

While applying for a new job, applicants aged between 64 to 66 face more age discrimination compared to applicants aged between 49 to 51.

The number of active workers aged between 65 and 75+ is predicted to grow by 75% by 2024. 

Age Discrimination in Workplace Statistics

60% of older employees have seen or experienced workplace age discrimination. [2]

About 25% of employees aged 45 or older reported that they have been subjected to negative behavior of their superiors due to age. [2]

95% of workers who have experienced age discrimination in the workplace said that it is common. [2]

75% of employees admitted that ageism is a barrier to finding a suitable job. [3]

Older workers are reported to have high retention rates compared to young employees. [3]

Age-based resignations cause mental health issues in older employees and they start feeling isolated and disrespected. [3]

Cost of Age Discrimination

ageism costs $63 billion per year

Age discrimination is not only harmful to employees but also has significant cost losses for the employees and the economy.

Ageism costs $63 billion per year and is counted as the eighth most expensive health condition in the US. [5]

In 2018, ageist beliefs and discriminatory actions cost about $859 billion to the US economy. [5]

More than $91 million has been recovered in ageism-related lawsuits since 1967. [6]

Companies have paid as high as $2.85 million and $280 million in age discrimination lawsuits. [6]

Age Discrimination Statistics Based on Demographics

Age Discrimination Statistics Based on Race

Older people face age discrimination, but guess who suffers it the worst!? The blacks.

77% of African Americans/Blacks report experiencing age discrimination at work. [7]

The age discrimination is 61% for Hispanics/Latinos. [7]

59% of white employees reported experiencing age discrimination at work. [7]

To the utter shock, between 1990 and 2017, the percentage of age discrimination charges has nearly doubled for blacks and Asians. [7]

age discrimination in workplace by race

Age Discrimination Statistics Based on Gender

In 1990 it was reported that men filed twice ADEA charges compared to women. [1]

The trend reversed in 2010 with nearly 75% of women experiencing ageism in the workplace. [7]

Older women experienced more discrimination than their counterparts. [9]

60% of males faced age discrimination in the workplace. [7]

US Laws Against Age Discrimination Statistics

Every US state except for South Dakota, has a law prohibiting age discrimination in the workplace. [10]

32 states have provisions for either compensatory or punitive damages, and 21 states allow both against discrimination. [10]

Here we have reviewed state laws prohibiting workplace age discrimination:

  • 49 states have laws prohibiting workplace age discrimination. [8]
  • 43 states apply the same provisions to ageism as they do other state law discrimination cases. [8]
  • 32 states have laws that provide compensatory or punitive damages. [8]
  • 21 states have laws that provide compensatory and punitive damages. [8]

Between 2011 and 2021, the number of age discrimination charges filed with the EEOC decreased by 44.75% from over 23,400 cases in 2011 to under 13,00 cases in 2021. [11

50% of workers who witnessed age discrimination did not report it. [11]

FAQs

What are age-discriminatory behaviours?

Some examples of age discrimination are hiring employees of a certain age, rejecting applicants merely based on age, neglecting older employees and overlooking their work, and encouraging earlier resignations.

What are the common types of age discrimination?

There are three common types of age discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination in job eliminations while hiring, discrimination in promotions, and discrimination in job advertisements.

What are EEOC cases for age discrimination statistics?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws that make discrimination illegal in the workplace. Age discrimination accounted for 21% of all claims filed in the last decade from 2010 to 2017. 

Out of all age discrimination cases filed in the 201-2017 only 1% were proved to be actually age discrimination cases. In 2021, 12,965 EEOC cases for age discrimination were filed.

Conclusion

Ageism has always been a part of our society. Older people face discrimination in the workplace because of their age. They are prejudiced to have a lack of adaptability to the latest technology, innovative ideas, energy, and efficiency.

Employees who have been working very hard and deserve a promotion or a job are often overlooked because of their age. Women face more age discrimination compared to men and black women suffer the most.

With time and strict laws, age discrimination cases are decreasing but people still need to understand that age discrimination is not only harmful for the victim but also for the economy and the employer.

Sources

  1. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The State of Age Discrimination and Older Workers in the U.S. 50 Years After the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  2. American Association of Retired Persons. Age Discrimination Common in Workplace, Survey Says
  3. SeniorLiving.org. Age Discrimination: 25 Crucial Statistics
  4. Hiscox.com. 2019 Hiscox Ageism in the Workplace Study
  5. American Association of Retired Persons. ‘’Age Discrimination Costs the Nation $850 Billion, Study Finds
  6. Aegis Law. Age Discrimination Statistics
  7. American Association of Retired Persons. Age Bias Complaints Rise Among Women and Minorities
  8. American Association of Retired Persons. Age Bias That’s Barred by Law Appears in Thousands of Job Listings
  9. American Association of Retired Persons. Workplace Age Discrimination Still Flourishes in America
  10. American Association of Retired Persons. 10 Things You Should Know About Age Discrimination
  11. World Health Organization. Ageism is a global challenge: UN

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