How long will people live in the future?

-The pandemic has caused setbacks in life expectancy in some places.

-But a recent study suggests under ideal conditions a person can live to 150.

-Efforts are underway to further extend and enhance longevity.

Benjamin Franklin had already turned 70 by the time he signed the US Declaration of Independence in 1776, when the average man wasn’t expected to live to see 34. The inventor and statesman’s remarkable longevity – he died at the age of 84 – has been attributed to avoiding alcohol and avidly swimming.

Global life expectancy at birth has now topped 70 years for men, and 75 years for women. And the population living to 100 and older is predicted to grow to nearly 3.7 million by 2050, from just 95,000 in 1990. According to a study published earlier this year, the biological “hard limit” on our longevity – barring disease and disaster – is as high as 150 years.

The progress made on extending lifespans thanks to vaccines and other breakthroughs has created complications, like difficulty funding retirement for growing elderly populations in some places. But it’s also inspired people to imagine a future where they pursue multiple careers and effectively combine several lives into one.

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