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Survey suggests middle age begins at 55

18th September 2012

A survey has found that most people in the UK believe that middle age only begins at the age of 55.

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The research, which was carried for the Love to Learn website, also discovered that most Britons did not define themselves as "elderly" until they reached the age of 70.

The results, which came from 1,000 adults aged 50 years and over, contrasted with earlier research, which found middle age started at 36.

The survey found that the average age at which middle age was believed to begin was 54 years and 347 days old.

Almost a fifth of respondents said they did not think middle age started until after the age of 60.

The survey showed the average age which most respondents thought middle age finished was 69 years and 277 days. 

The researchers found that 19% of respondents believed that being middle age "was a state of mind" as opposed to being defined by chronological age.

Gill Jackson, director of Love to Learn, said: "More than half said they have more confidence and experience than younger people and are less afraid of making mistakes."

John Craven, who is involved with the launch of the site, said: "Only a generation ago, many people were pretty old at 60. These days most of us in our middle and later years are much younger in our attitudes and it's all about having an active state of mind." 

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