May 9, 2018

Labor Force Participation for men Age 65+ from 1850 to 1990

I found this paper excerpt on NBER titled The Evolution of Retirement: An American Economic History, 1880-1990   Figure 2.1 in the document shows the labor force participation for men age 55-64 and 65+ from 1850 to 1990.   

Here's the chart :

Source : NBER

Most men over 65 were working up until the 1940's. 

The concept of retirement as we think of it now wasn't invented with Social Security.   But its still a relatively new thing in the history of the world  Just 150 years ago the vast majority of men over 65 were still working.

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