Given the amount people spend on products designed to disguise or restrain the visible signs off aging, you’d think Americans yearn after their bygone youth. However, a Harris Poll gives reason to believe that relatively few of them do. Instead, people in most age groups feel the ideal age is close to their actual age. Respondents were asked, “If you could stop time and live forever in good health at a particular age, what age would you like to live at?” Among all adults, the median age chosen was 41. Among respondents in the 18-24 cohort, the median choice was 27; for 25-29s, it was 31; for 30-39s, it was 37; for 40-49s, it was 40; for 50-64s, it was 44; and for those 65-plus, it as 59. One surprise: Women chose an older ideal age than men, 43 vs. 39. In a breakdown by ethnicity, whites chose an ideal age (41) between those favored by blacks (38) and Hispanics (44). The role of ancient sage retains some appeal, judging by the fact that 8 percent of adults (including 20 percent of those 65-plus) put their ideal age at 90 or older.
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