U.S. life expectancy posts big drop in 2020

CDC sign in Atlanta, Georgia
CDC sign in Atlanta, Georgia
Matt Bannister via Shutterstock

Life expectancy in the United States last year suffered its largest decline since World War II, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report said the COVID-19 pandemic—accounting for 74 percent of the decline—was the main reason life expectancy fell by a year and a half to 77 years, 4 months.

Drug overdoses were another big culprit, and an increase in homicides also contributed.

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Which Americans had the largest decline? Life expectancy for African Americans and Hispanic Americans fell by about three years. For white Americans, it fell by 14 months.

Overall, the country recorded 3.3 million deaths—the largest number in U.S. history. 

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. 

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