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Life expectancy in the US is at its lowest in 25 years

Life expectancy in the US is at its lowest in 25 years

The finding comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that life expectancy in the United States is at the lowest it has been for more than 20 years.

Life expectancy in the country was reduced for the second year in a row in 2021, with both the coronavirus pandemic and high levels of opioid overdose deaths contributing to the decline.

In 2019, just prior to the virus outbreak, the United States experienced 715.2 deaths per 100,000 people. And in the year following the pandemic in 2021, that number had risen by 23 percent to 897.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

Life expectancy continued to decline following the pandemic.
Vlad Deep / Alamy Stock Photo

Most countries across the globe experienced a decline in life expectancy during the pandemic, but while many advanced economies, such as France and Switzerland, saw expectancy recover last year to pre-pandemic levels, that was not the case for the US.

Instead, death rates in the country continued to increase.

Americans born in 2019, the year before the pandemic hit, have a life expectancy of 78.8 years. In comparison, the data from 2021 revealed that a child born that year has a life expectancy of 76.4 years, the lowest since 1996 and a decrease of 0.6 years from 2020.

The change in infant mortality rates between 2020 and 2021 was described as 'not statistically significant', with 543.6 infant deaths per 100,000 live births recorded in 2021.

The CDC revealed that coronavirus remained among the top three causes of death in 2021, along with heart disease and cancer. These were unchanged from the previous year.

The CDC released its findings towards the end of 2022.
National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality.

The US also recorded 106,699 deaths attributed to drug overdoses; more than 30 per 100,000 people. The figure has continued to increase, following a trend that has continued since 2001 when the number was below 10 per 100,000.

Women in the US were found on average to have a higher life expectancy than men, with babies born in 2021 expected to live 79.3 years if they were assigned female at birth and 73.5 years if assigned male.

Significant chances were evident when the population was divided by gender, race and Hispanic origin, with American Indian and Alaska Native men recorded as having the highest rate of deaths with 1,717.5 per 100,000 people in 2021.

The second highest death rate was for Black males, at 1,380.2 per 100,000 people.

Figures for white men last year came in at 1,055.3 deaths per 100,000; 915.6 per 1000,000 people for Hispanic men and 578.1 per 100,000 people for Asian men.

The same order was found for women, with American Indian and Alaska Native women having the highest death rates at 1,236.6 per 100,000, followed by Black women at 921.9 per 100,000 people.

White women had 750.6 deaths per 100,000, Hispanic women had 599.8 and Asian women had the lowest death rate at 391.1 per 100,000.

The data was released by the CDC on Thursday (22 December) in reports on mortality and drug deaths in the US.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Health, US News, Life