The average life expectancy of Americans fell precipitously in 2020 and 2021, the sharpest two-year decline in nearly 100 years and a stark reminder of the toll exacted on the nation by the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
In 2021, the average American could expect to live until the age of 76, federal health researchers reported on Wednesday. The figure represents a loss of almost three years since 2019, when Americans could expect to live, on average, nearly 79 years.
The reduction has been particularly steep among Native Americans and Alaska Natives, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported. Average life expectancy in those groups was shortened by four years in 2020 alone.
“Even small declines in life expectancy of a tenth or two-tenths of a year mean that on a population level, a lot more people are dying prematurely than they really should be,” said Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the NCHS.
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Source: The New York Times (31 August 2022)