Older people in Britain are more concerned about age discrimination than their European neighbours and feel negative towards young people, research by Demos suggests.

They are also lonelier and poorer than those in similar European countries.

The UK performed most poorly on indicators of age discrimination.

Nearly half of British people think that age discrimination is widespread, compared to only a third in Germany. The study found that UK older people are most likely to feel they have been shown a lack of respect because of their age.

But the age discrimination cuts both ways. Older people are most likely to admit to having negative feelings towards people in their 20s.

This may be partly explained by the fact that three quarters of people in the UK believe that ‘there are not enough opportunities for older and younger people to meet and work together’. By comparison, less than half of those in the Netherlands feel the same way.

The report suggests that if we are serious about the need to tackle age discrimination, increasing opportunities for meaningful intergenerational contact would be a good place to start.

The report is available here.