How Long Do You Want To Live? Most Americans Say 90 Years [Poll]

When do you want to die? For most Americans, 90 is about the right age to shuffle off this mortal coil, according to a new poll.

The Pew Research Center asked roughly 2,000 people what the ideal life span would be in a survey published this week. The median answer was 90 years, with only 8 percent of respondents saying that they want to live to 101 years or more.

MarketWatch points out that even such a seemingly modest answer still doesn’t fully reflect reality (though it’s close). Currently, the average life expectancy for an American is 78.5 years, but that number is low because of the high rate of accidents and illnesses among young people.

Let’s put it in perspective, though. According to recent research, the average 65-year-old male can expect to live to the age of 83 while a female of the same age can expect to live to the age of 86.

Pew’s questionnaire was couched in a wider inquiry about the possibility of medical advances that are still only hypothetical. If science could push the lifespan up to 120 years or more, would people even be interested in living that long?

Not really.

By a 56-to-38 percent margin, people said that they wouldn’t even want those treatments, and 51 percent said that advancements like that would be bad for society. It seemed to be mostly a concern of economics, too. About 66 percent said that they thought a lifespan of 120+ years would put a strain on our natural resources, and only 44 percent thought that the advances would improve the economy by extending an individual’s working life.

What do you think the ideal lifespan is?

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