CDC: US life expectancy saw biggest decline in decades amid pandemic

U.S. life expectancy fell to 77.3 years in 2020, marking a 1.5 year drop from 78.8 years in 2019, according to a July 21 CDC report. It's the largest one-year drop since World War II. 

The report looked at life expectancy at birth, meaning the average number of years a person born in 2020 is expected to live, and is based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics. 

For males, life expectancy was 74.5 years, marking a nearly two-year drop from 2019. Life expectancy for females in 2020 fell to 80.2 years from 81.4 years in 2019. Overall, the Hispanic population saw the biggest dip in life expectancy as it fell to 78.8 years from 81.8 years in 2019. 

COVID-19 deaths largely fueled the decrease in U.S. life expectancy, according to the report. This, along with drug overdose deaths, essentially canceled out progress in other areas, such as the country's decreasing cancer death rates. 

Other causes of death that "negatively contributed to the change in life expectancy," include unintentional injuries, homicide and diabetes, the report said. 

To view the full report, click here.


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