The elderly population, those aged 65 years and older, in the United States is composed of 39.6 million men and women. This means that the elderly only compose 12.5% of the total US population. This put the elderly in the minority by a considerable margin. So the elderly citizens of the US are minority group.
A minority group can be defined as: “a sociological category that is differentiated, defined, and often discriminated against by those who hold the majority of positions of social power.” (Boundless Sociology https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/race-and-ethnicity-10/minorities-81/minority-groups-475-3392/)
Elderly people do face discrimination in the workplace, as referenced in previous exams. They may be pushed into early retirement or unlawfully turned down for a job because of their age. Elderly people are often depicted as incapable and senile in the media, and they suffer plenty of negative stereotypes.
HOWEVER, the elderly should not be considered a minority group because age is an achieved status; nobody starts as an elderly person, and everyone who lives long enough will eventually become one. Elderly people have never been systemically denied human rights, such as the right to vote. In addition, older adults hold many political offices and other positions of power.
It should also be noted that by sociology standards, minority is not defined by population size, but rather by holding lesser power. For example, women are considered a minority group.
In terms of issues that pertain to them, the elderly need to campaign for what they want and need just like any other group. However, that does not mean they are a minority and, in fact, as the baby boomers age they will soon become the majority. All they have to do is to leverage their power.
I don't think that it really makes any sense to say that the elderly should be grouped as a minority. That kind of grouping is done along racial bounds, not bounds of age. If we did things that way, then infants would be minorities, because there are not a lot of them.
“The smaller in number of two groups constituting a whole”, or the lesser of the sum of the total, is by definition the exact description of a minority. But in this case, it does not serve to address our issue for debate. Okay, considering only numbers, the elderly may be in a minority in relation to the general population count, but they are not by definition a class minority, and this is where the context of this question lies. No they are not a minority, and with the advances in modern medicine, and even greater technological improvements certainly on our horizon, the elderly may soon not even meet the actual numerical definition of a minority. Within the elderly there certainly are minorities, but the elderly as a group should not be considered such.
The elderly should not be considered a minority. First off, when precisely does an individual become elderly? It's not a clearly defined line of demarcation. Secondly, what purpose would being considered a minority serve? Age is already a protected class, and thus you cannot be denied a job based on age. Also, retired persons are already represented by one of the largest lobbying associations in the country, the AARP. There's no point in declaring elderly persons a minority.