US life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII
July 21, 2021 at 09:16
Black life expectancy has not fallen so much in one year since the mid-1930s, during the Great Depression.
Health officials have not tracked Hispanic life expectancy for nearly as long, but the 2020 decline was the largest recorded one-year drop.
Drug overdoses pushed life expectancy down, particularly for whites.
Life expectancy is an estimate of the average number of years a baby born in a given year might expect to live.
Other findings in the new CDC report:—Hispanic Americans have a longer life expectancy than white or Black Americans but had the largest decline in 2020.
The three-year drop was the largest since the CDC started tracking Hispanic life expectancy 15 years ago.
The coronavirus was responsible for 90% of the decline in life expectancy among Hispanics, 68% among white people, and 59% among Black Americans.
—Life expectancy fell nearly two years for men, but about one year for women, widening a longstanding gap.
The CDC estimated life expectancy of 74 years, 6 months for boys vs. 80 years, 2 months for girls.
That actually diminished the pandemic's toll on life expectancy at birth, which is swayed more by deaths of younger adults and children than those among seniors.
Life expectancy bounced back after those drops, and experts believe it will this time, too.
In 2021, we can't get back to pre-pandemic" life expectancy, said Noreen Goldman, a Princeton University researcher.