In the United States, the average life expectancy fell by over two years in 2020, from 78.8 to 77 years. It was the lowest average for the nation in almost two decades.
The National Center for Health Statistics has released a new analysis that examines how those declines vary by state. It was discovered that from 2019 to 2020, life expectancy decreased by more than two years in eight states and Washington, D.C. New Jersey, Texas, and Louisiana are on that list.
The biggest drop was in New York, a three-year dip. Hawaii experienced the shortest, at at 0.2 years.
In 2020, Mississippi was the state with the lowest life expectancy (71.9 years), and Hawaii had the highest (80.7 years).
Usually, life expectancy is used as a proxy for the general health of a population. Naturally, Covid-19 was the primary factor in the drop, which was then followed by an increase in unintended injuries, primarily from drug overdoses. In the U.S., Covid-19 caused more than 300,000 deaths in 2020.
The biggest increase in deaths in the United States in a century. The Southern states with the lowest life expectancy in 2020 were Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia. According to Dr. Robert Anderson, director of mortality statistics at NCHS, who read the report, that was most likely caused by Covid deaths.
According to Anderson, the U.S. has historically had a slow upward trend in life expectancy throughout time.
Since the 1918 flu epidemic, “we really haven’t seen anything like this,” he said. According to Anderson, at that period, the average life expectancy decreased from 50.9 years in 1917 to 39.1 years in 1918.
Once finalized and broken down by state, the figures for 2021 probably won’t appear all that much better.
We may experience more drops because mortality was somewhat higher in 2021 than it was in 2020, according to Anderson.
We might witness a significant rebound “if Covid disappears miraculously,” he continued. However, it is difficult to predict what the disease’s long-term ramifications will be.