August 6, 2013

How Long Do You Want To Live?

With falling birthrates and rising life expectancies, the U.S. population is rapidly aging. Research aimed at unlocking the secrets of aging is underway at universities and corporate labs, and some biomedical researchers think future medical treatments might be able to slow, stop or reverse the aging process and allow people to live decades longer than is possible today – to 120 years and beyond. A Pew Research Center survey report examines Americans’ views on aging, medical advances and “radical life extension.” Two accompanying reports present an overview of the scientific research and the emerging ethical debate and describe how some clergy, bioethicists, theologians and other scholars think their religious traditions might approach the issue.

In this interactive, you can see how your ideal life span compares with those we surveyed.

To what age do you want to live?

Enter your age above to see how you compare with segments of the American public.

Responses were placed in five groups:
78 or less
Not sure

The current average U.S. life expectancy is 78.7 years. It is slightly higher for women (81.0 years) than men (76.2 years). It is lower for non-Hispanic blacks (74.7 years) than for non-Hispanic whites (78.8 years) or Hispanics (81.2).

Source: Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project: Living to 120 and Beyond: Americans’ Views on Aging, Medical Advances and Radical Life Extension (Aug. 6, 2013)

Average life expectancies from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013. "Table 18" in "Health, United States, 2012: With Special Feature on Emergency Care," National Center for Health Statistics.