U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years.
The drop spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, which health officials said is responsible for close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline. More than 3.3 million Americans died last year, far more than any other year in U.S. history, with COVID-19 accounting for about 11% of those deaths.
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.
New life expectancy estimates are out for 2020, showing historic effects of the pandemic on US mortality. The drop in Hispanic and Black life expectancy was especially large, showing the disproportionate lethal consequences of the virus for those groups. https://t.co/nHtzypgLZy
— Mark Hayward (@mdhayward) July 21, 2021