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Exclusive poll: People want to live longer, but maybe not to 100

Data: SurveyMonkey online poll conducted Nov. 13-15, 2018, among 3,222 U.S. adults. Total margin of error is ±2.5 percentage points; Poll methodology; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Science may make it possible for people to live past 100, but a new Axios poll found that Americans aren't exactly jazzed about living that long.

Why it matters: Most Americans do want to live longer than their average life expectancy now, but they're not thrilled about living a life of "oy, my back." The poll, conducted by SurveyMonkey for Axios on HBO, shows they want to be sure they can live independently and won't be in constant pain.

By the numbers:

  • Almost seven out of 10 men want to live past age 77, the average life expectancy for men.
  • 57% of women would like to live past age 81, the average life expectancy for women.
  • But nearly half of Americans, when asked if they'd like to live past 100, said it depends how much pain they're in or whether they'd be able to live independently.
  • Nearly three out of 10 say they're not interested in living past 100, while 22% say they're open to it.
  • Seniors — people 65 and older — are both the most interested in living past the average life expectancy and the least interested in living beyond 100.

The bottom line: Quality of life is important too. So get over yourself, science.

Methodology: This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted among adults ages 18 and older in the United States. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

The survey was conducted Nov. 13-15, 2018 among 3,222 adults. The modeled error estimate  for the full sample is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Full crosstabs are available here.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to include the correct methodology. An earlier post included the methodology from a different Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

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