July 12, 2016
Majority of Americans Don’t Want to Live to 120, Pew Study Reveals
The U.S. population is aging rapidly as a result of falling birthrates and rising life expectancies. According to the U.S. Census Bureau projections, by 2050, one-in-five Americans will be 65 or older, and at least 400,000 will be 100 or older.
There are some futurists that believe even more dramatic changes are coming, including medical treatments that could slow, stop, or reverse the aging process and allow humans to remain healthy and productive to the age 120 or more.
The likelihood of extraordinary life spans is becoming increasingly possible. For example, a recent issue of National Geographic magazine carried a picture of a baby on its cover with the headline: “This Baby Will Live to Be 120.”
With that said, many Americans are not optimistic about the possibility of living longer lives. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, they see peril as well as promise in biomedical advances, and more believe it would be a bad thing for society if people lived decades longer than today.
When asked whether they, personally, would choose to undergo medical treatments to slow the aging process and live to be 120 or more, a majority of U.S. adults (56 percent) say “no.” However, close to two-thirds (68 percent) think that most other people would. And last, they expect that dramatically longer life spans would strain the country’s natural resources and be available only to the wealthy.
Read more: The Pew Foundation Report