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Life expectancy takes biggest hit since WWII: CDC blames COVID pandemic

U.S. life expectancy dropped by the largest margin ever since World War II in 2020, according to public health officials.

The life expectancy of a person overall dropped by 1.5 years- while dropping by three years for Black and Hispanic Americans.

The CDC says that this is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline. More than 3.3 million Americans died last year, far more than any other year in U.S. history.


COVID-19 accounted for approximately 11% of those deaths.

Drug overdoses pushed life expectancy down, particularly for whites. And rising homicides were a small but significant reason for the decline for Black Americans, said Elizabeth Arias, who was the lead author on the report.

Life expectancy is an estimate of the average number of years a baby born in a given year might expect to live.



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