• U.S.

Your Family: Jun. 7, 1999

2 minute read
Daniel S. Levy

WANT TO BREAK 100? Everyone wants to live to a ripe old age–but not too old, it turns out. A new poll by the AARP finds that 63% of Americans over age 18 are concerned about the effects of age and don’t want to live to be 100 or older. The average person among those polled wants to live to 91. Despite their concerns, 60% believe life will be better for seniors in the 21st century, and 57% think life expectancy will then hit 120.

FEARS ABOUT LIVING TO A VERY OLD AGE:

46% Declining health 38% Having enough money 13% Losing mental facilities 12% Dependence on others

COMPANION ANIMALS Americans own 112 million pet cats and dogs, and most consider Fluffy and Spot members of the family. Ninety-two percent of American pet owners display pictures of their pets at home or at work. Fifty-three percent believe their animals would risk their life to save their owners. Such interspecies devotion will soon stretch beyond the grave. Two firms, including PerPETuate Inc. in Farmington, Conn., are offering services to store DNA so that a four-legged loved one can be reproduced once cloning has been perfected.

AND BABY MAKES THREE The days of the large family are history. According to Only Child News and the U.S. Census Bureau, a third of American families started today will have only one child. Three-member families increased from 10 million in 1972 to more than 15 million today, and one-child families outnumber those with two children. Experts say couples are having fewer kids because of improved contraception and because women are better educated and working outside the home in greater numbers.

–By Daniel S. Levy

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