Science Ticker

COVID Behind Drop in US LIfe Expectancy

It was the biggest one-year decline since World War II. Hispanic and African Americans saw the biggest drops. 

Life expectancy in the United States declined by a year and a half in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says the coronavirus is largely to blame.

For African Americans, life expectancy dropped by 2.9 years from 74.7 years in 2019 to 71.8 in 2020. U.S. Hispanics — who have a longer life expectancy than non-Hispanic Blacks or whites saw the largest decline in life expectancy during the pandemic, dropping 3 years from 81.8 years in 2019 to 78.8 years in 2020. Hispanic males saw the biggest decline, with a drop of 3.7 years. COVID-19 was responsible for 90% of the decline among Hispanics.

But the pandemic virus wasn't the only factor driving down life expectancy. Deaths caused by drug overdoses also contributed to the decline.

To read the entire story check out NPR.