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US Life Expectancy Dropped in 2021

Life expectancy has dropped for all racial groups, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics said in an August 2022 report. 

Life Expectancy Dropped   ©The Earth & I
  1. Overall at-birth life expectancy in the US fell by nine months from 2020 to 2021.  

  2. The decline of 77.0 years to 76.1 years brought US life expectancy to its lowest level since 1996.  

  3. The 2021 drop, combined with a 1.8 year drop in 2020, is “the biggest two-year decline in life expectancy” since the early 1920s.  

  4. American Indian-Alaskan Native people (AIAN) saw the biggest drop in life expectancy—nearly two years—to 65.2 years in 2021. This was equal to the life expectancy of the total U.S. population in 1944. 

  5. Non-Hispanic Whites had the second-largest decline, from 77.4 years in 2020 to 76.4 years in 2021.  

  6. Non-Hispanic Blacks saw a seven-month drop from 71.5 years in 2020 to 70.8 in 2021.  

  7. Following a four-year drop in life expectancy from 2019 to 2020, Hispanics saw a slight two-month decline in 2021, to 77.7 years. 

  8. Life expectancy for Asians saw a one-month drop, to 83.5 years. 

  9. The life expectancy gap for men and women grew slightly, from 5.7 years in 2020 to 5.9 years in 2021. 

  10. COVID-19 deaths contributed to 74% of the decline from 2019 to 2020.   


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