U.S. life expectancy drops 1.5 years in 2020 due to pandemic

Darryl Coote:

Life expectancy in the United States declined by a year and a half during 2020 due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday in a new report, marking the steepest decline since the second world war.

According to the report, Americans as a whole saw their life expectancy from birth shorten from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.3 years in 2020, the largest decline since 2.9 years were lost between 1942 and 1943.

“The decline of 1.5 years in life expectancy between 2019 and 2020 was primarily due to increases in mortality due to COVID-19,” the report said, stating the pandemic contributed to 73.8% of the decline, followed by unintentional injuries at 11.2% and homicide at 3.1%.

The life expectancy for men dropped 1.8 years, from 76.3 years in 2019 to 74.5 years in 2020, while women went from 81.4 years in 2019 to 80.2 years in 2020 for a loss of 1.2 years. Between the sexes, the age divide widened to a gap of 5.7 years compared to 5.1 years a year prior.