- U.S. life expectancy dropped 1.5 years in 2020, largely due to the pandemic. It now stands at 77.3 years, which is the lowest life expectancy since 2003. (Associated Press)
- NH: You heard it here first. Back in February, using a CDC half-year mortality report and full-year Covid-19 death numbers, we predicted that--when the final numbers came in--US life expectancy at birth would fall by 1.5 years in 2020.
- Yesterday the NCHS and CDC announced their full-year preliminary results. In 2020, they say, life expectancy at birth did indeed decline by 1.5 years to 77.3. We were, tragically, right on the money. (For our original NW on the subject, see “In First Half of 2020, US Life Expectancy Fell by One Year.” For a video discussion, see “2020 Demography Review: United States.”)
- Of course, most of this decline in life expectancy was the result of the pandemic. A full 74% of the drop is attributed to Covid-19 deaths. Higher numbers of drug overdoses, homicides, fatal traffic accidents, and alcohol-related (liver-disease) deaths also contributed to the lower life expectancy outcome. (See “In 2020, Drug Overdoses Hit a Record High” and “Homicides Spiked in 2020.”) Slightly offsetting the negative hits were improvements due to a reduction in suicides and influenza-related deaths, which we also predicted.
- This year's drop in life expectancy continues an ongoing reversal in mortality improvement that has persisted over the last decade, especially among nonelderly adults. (See "Death Becomes Us... Mortality Increases.")
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