Stanford researchers say age bias is worse in these 10 states

The Northeast and Southeast are particularly steeped in ageism.

Stanford researchers say age bias is worse in these 10 states
[Photo: Matthias Zomer/Pexels]

Where can you contentedly go gray? And where should you avoid retiring? Researchers at Stanford University and Michigan State are addressing this pivotal question of our time.


A new giant duo of studies with 800,000 participants find that age bias varies widely by region, with the Northeast and Southeast particularly steeped in it.

States with the most age bias:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Connecticut
  3. Mississippi
  4. South Carolina
  5. New York
  6. Florida
  7. North Carolina
  8. Georgia
  9. Louisiana
  10. Maryland

States with the least age bias:

  1. Utah
  2. Alaska
  3. Colorado
  4. Washington
  5. Nebraska
  6. Oregon
  7. Arkansas
  8. Idaho
  9. Nevada
  10. Vermont

The psychological impact of these variations is significant. In regions with a lot of age bias, people tend to psychologically separate themselves from their age group, known as “age disassociation.” This happens when people lie about their age, or try to present as youthful, or say that they feel decades younger.

The least age bias in the world can be found in: Japan, China, Korea, India, and Brazil. Culturally, these countries tend to focus on harmony and the collective good, and also maintain a strong respect for elders.


Ample age bias can be found in: Germany, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and the United States. These countries emphasize individualism and independence, which correlates with both age bias and strong efforts in maintaining youthful, active appearances.

Researcher William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University, waxes philosophic: “Older adults are one of the only stigmatized groups that we all become part of some day. And that’s always struck me as interesting—that we would treat so poorly a group of people that we’re destined to become someday.”

Pro tip: Skip the psychological minefield, and just move out West. The Pacific Northwest is lovely this time of year. You’re welcome.