Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fact: people get middle aged more quickly in the US

One’s increasing age is something that becomes progressively less exciting as one grows up. From being delighted to find that one has survived yet another year without being murdered by one’s parents to the point where people don’t even ask how old you are because they know you’d rather not say lies a wealth of experience

This said, whoever coined the term ‘middle-aged’, ought to be shot. It’s so... middley. So middle-of-the-road, so neither one nor the other – and as for the stereotype that goes with it - it doesn’t bear thinking of.

I’ve been a bit worried about it, though. What if I start acting my age? It would be an awful shame. So I did a spot of easy reading:

According to the Collins Dictionary, this is "... usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60".

The Oxford English Dictionary "... the period between early adulthood and old age, usually considered as the years from about 45 to 65".

The US Census lists middle age as including both the age categories 35 to 44 and 45 to 50

This begs the question: do people get middle-aged ten years earlier in the US than in England?

I gloat. For me, the prognosis is good for a few years more – as long as I don’t change dictionaries. After that? Ah! Fogesysville like the rest of you poor 35+ saps in the US.


  1. But, Andrea, we LIKE Middle Age here in the USA! Old enough to know better but too young to care! It even gets better when you reach 65, too old to die young! Everything is on the table now, all the things I ever wanted to do. It is just now I can't!

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  4. Due to high obesity rates and diabetes, we reach our end much earlier and therefore have to consider the middle as being closer to the beginning. You should switch to the Japanese dictionary if you want to feel even better. They consider it common for people to still be healthy and working into their 70's.

  5. Middle age was not as much fun as old age! (I'm 69.) I recently read an article that folks in their eighties are happiest; maybe because they don't remember why they were unhappy earlier. Never act your age unless it's useful to do so; i.e., "I can't rake leaves or pull weeds because I'm just too old" or "It's too hot--I'll have a heat stroke."

  6. After all the moving and traveling I've done lately, I certainly feel middle aged! Can't wait to be settled enough to get back into my normal 'anti-middle-aged feeling' routines.

  7. I feel I am ageless. Although I am 52, I still have the energy of a 30 year old woman, and the love for all the adventure of a teenage. I don't think age matters much to me at all. But somehow I have decided I must live only up to 65 maximum, not more than that, and I somehow feel I will be successful in my intention with God's grace. Lets see, till then.....

  8. Love the English! The Oxford English dictionary works for me. Since I'm bordering on ancient, I'll relish still being called middle aged for another year. Hmmmmm...old age starts at 51 in the US...must be all that bacon, Pepsi's and creme brulee, lol. Miss Pam gave me your message. I read a few blogs that now try to flush my comments down the toilet...blogger's not extremely consistant these days. I miss your comments, but am glad you still have a soft spot for me and my furballs. Hope you are feeling much better now.

  9. I'm just going to go ahead and use that English Dictionary.

  10. Helloooo from a middle-aged sap in teh U.S.! :-) I

    I pointed out to a friend in his late 30s that he was considered middle-aged and he got all offended. I said, "How long do you expect to live, anyway?!"

    Another reason to wish I was English... :-)


  11. Remember - age is a moving target! Hah! Gotcha!

    Cough, cough, sputter, sputter - ooh, my back. Gotta sit.

    I get younger with every watercolor I paint. So there!

  12. What's the old adage... "Your only as old as you feel." I think that statement says it all. I know young people that act much older than their true age and old people that act much younger than would be expected.

  13. Hey Kiddo,
    PAMO here. I've officially crashed and burned. I'm blogged out.
    Visit me at my website: http://pamoart.com and contact me for YOUR zine. It should be ready by August and I'd love to send you one.
    Thanks for everything. I think of you often.

  14. It reminds me of the joke: I told her act your age, and she died!

    Leat me say that as long as you are healthy age is no problem.
    As you go on you get more free time, certain debts get paid off, the kids start to leave home. It just gets better.
    Make a plan.
    A magician called Paul Daniels was asked hoe old he was."To tell you the honest truth I am 12 years old. Inside I got no older and life is still one big adventure for me"
    Let that be your mantra.

  16. Hey How are you?
    Why no updates, everything alright?
    Merry Christmas dear!!