US Life Expectancy Falls to Lowest Level in 26 Years

Life expectancy in the United States fell to its lowest level in 26 years after Covid-19 impacted Americans’ health.

The latest US government data showed life expectancy at birth was now at 76.1, almost three years below the average reported in 2019.

Official data suggested that life expectancy had decreased by 2.7 years between 2019 and 2021. According to reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Covid-19 was the main cause behind the two-year decline, considered the most significant in a century.

Covid-19 was found to be a contributing factor to the 50% decline last year alone after the pandemic accounted for 74% of the decline between 2019 and 2021.

However, the coronavirus disease was not the only causative factor. The US government’s statistics also noted that unintentional injuries such as drug overdoses had reached record levels last year, contributing to 15.9% of the decline.

Other contributing factors were deaths from chronic liver disease, heart disease, cirrhosis, and suicides.

The report also showed that Native Americans’ and Alaska Natives’ life expectancy dropped two years compared to 2019 information.

Over the past two years, the demographic’s life expectancy has dropped by almost seven years, more than double that of the US general population.

The CDC data also showed differences between the life expectancy of men and women. In the past two years, it has dropped by about a year for men, reaching 73.2 in 2021.

Women’s life expectancy fell by ten months, standing at 79.1 last year, the data suggested.

Significant geographic variations were also revealed by a different batch of 2020 data released last week. Hawaii has the longest life expectancy at 80.7 years, while Mississippi has the lowest at 71.9 years.

Although the US has the lowest life expectancy rates among wealthy countries, it was not the only one to see a drop.

In the UK, life expectancy dropped for the first time in 40 years in 2020. According to official data, it was approximately 79 for males and 82.9 for women.