Staunton, Oct. 1 – In recent decades, many Russians on reaching 50 describe themselves as old even though when asked directly when old age begins say that the elderly are those who are much older than themselves, a new study finds, noting that such premature ascription of aging leads many Russians to withdraw from social life earlier than might be expected.
That leaves a hole in the demographic group from which the leaders of most social and political movements emerge and thus means that
The study by demographer Anatoly Antonov and four colleagues appears in the current issue of Demography (Narodonasleniye, 26: 3: 131-143; in Russian at jour.fnisc.ru/index.php/population/article/view/9765/9530) and discussed in detail by Nakanune journalist Yevgeny Chernyshov at nakanune.ru/articles/121377/
The respondents in the survey the demographers conducted in 65 federal subjects of the Russian Federation said that they viewed the real birthday at which old age begins for Russian men to be 69 and for Russian women at 68 but said that they themselves felt old as two decades earlier.
In fact, 77 percent of those between 55 and 59 said they felt that they were old before their time, a reflection of health issues and the way older workers are treated in the Russian Federation.