According to a federal data released Wednesday, U.S. life expectancy declined for the second year in 2021.
In the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, American longevity fell by roughly three years. The last comparable drop occurred during World War II.
CDC officials blamed COVID-19 for roughly half the reduction in 2021, when immunizations became widely available but new coronavirus strains caused hospitalizations and fatalities. Drug overdoses, heart illness, suicide, and chronic liver disease also contribute.
“It’s gloomy. It grew worse, “Penn demographer Samuel Preston claimed this.
Life expectancy estimates how long a baby born in a particular year might live, given death rates. It’s “the most fundamental indication of population health in our country,” says a UNC researcher.
Before the pandemic, U.S. life expectancy soared for decades.
2019 marked 78 years, 10 months. 2020: 77 years. It was 76 years, 1 month last year.
In 1996, it was that low.
Some racial groupings had steeper declines and wider gaps during the pandemic. Since the epidemic began, American Indian and Alaskan Native life expectancy has dropped by more than 6 1/2 years, to 65. Asian Americans’ life expectancy declined by two years, to 83 1/2.
Experts suggest lack of access to adequate health care, lower immunisation rates, and a larger share of the population in lower-paying occupations that needed people to stay working may be to blame.
The report uses preliminary data. Data and analysis can affect life expectancy estimates. The CDC previously predicted a 1 year 6 month drop in life expectancy by 2020. More death reports and analysis made it 1 year 10 months.