People aged 75 and over are nearly three times as likely to hold ageist opinions than those aged 55-64 years, according to a survey commissioned by Age Action.

The survey sought to find out the extent to which people in Ireland are ageist.

Self-directed ageism is where people internalise ageist opinions that they have been repeatedly exposed to over their lives, according to the advocacy organisation.

The survey of over 1,840 people found evidence of high levels of self-directed ageism among older people.

21% of those aged over 75 held three or more ageist opinions compared to 12% of those aged 65-74 and 8% aged 55-64.

26% aged 75 and over said they do not enjoy the company of older people, compared to 16% aged 55-64.

19% of people aged 75+ agreed that older people should give up work to make way for younger people. That is compared to 12% of those aged 55-64.

27% of those aged 75+ also agreed that older people get more than their fair share of public services, compared to 16% aged 55-64.

Survey respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with seven ageist opinions expressed as statements.

The statements were based on international surveys for measuring ageism.

While agreement with any one statement might not represent ageism, agreement with multiple ageist statements is "an established way of predicting ageism".

When presented with seven ageist opinions, more than a third of adults (37%) agreed with two or more of them.

Most people (67%) agreed with at least one ageist opinion, although one in three (33%) did not agree with any.

More than a third of people (37%) agreed with two or more ageist opinions. 16% agreed with three or more.

It found that younger people and men were more likely to hold ageist opinions.

People aged 18-34 were more than two and a half times as likely to agree with three or more ageist opinions (30% versus 12% for people aged 35+).

Nearly half of men (47%) agreed with two or more ageist opinions, compared to 28% of women.

Respondents were also asked if they had personally experienced age discrimination.

23% had experienced this type of discrimination in recent years.

The survey also found that people on lower incomes were more likely to experience age discrimination, while those on the highest incomes are the least likely.

A third (34%) of those with incomes of €5-20,000 experienced age discrimination as did 28% of those with incomes of €20-30,000.

That compares to 17% of those with incomes of €50-80,000 and 13% of those with incomes of €80,000 or more.

People who were unemployed were more than twice as likely to experience age discrimination (48%) as people with any other work status (22%).

And people unable to work (36%) also experienced age discrimination more often than average.

Head of Advocacy and Public Affairs at Age Action Celine Clarke has said ageism, like any other form of prejudice, has a negative impact on wellbeing and the way in which people experience day-to-day life in homes, communities and workplaces.

"Age Action's poll reveals that despite age being one of the protected grounds under equality legislation, older people continue to experience discrimination particularly in the labour market," she said.