The Comparative Macro-Level Ageism Index: An International Comparison

Ju Hyun Kim, Ahyoung Song, Soondool Chung, Kwi Byung Kwak, Yeonjin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Ageism, socially constructed discrimination against seniors, influences the quality of life of older adults. This study aimed to compare ageism in 15 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries using the scientifically developed Comparative Macro-Level Ageism Index (CMAI). We developed the CMAI by reviewing previous index research on the life of older people and conducting expert interviews using a Delphi method. We identified five domains, economic status, health, employment, environment, and social participation, and 17 indicators of ageism. Standardized ageism scores were compared across 15 OECD countries. The results indicated that the overall ageism score was highest in Turkey and lowest in Japan. Turkey was the most likely while South Korea was the least likely to practice age discrimination in the workplace. Yet, South Korea had the highest score for discriminating against seniors based on economic status while Spain had the lowest score in this domain. Japan had favorable conditions for economic status, health status, and social participation for older adults. Implications of this study and suggestions for further studies on developing an objective indicator of structural age discrimination are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-584
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

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  • Ageism
  • ageism index
  • international comparative study


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