What do 2021 and World War II have in common? Well apparently, historical dips in the average life expectancy in the United States. According to Complex, the CDC has released an updated report that reveals life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population was 77.3 years, which is a decline of 1.5 years from 78.8 in 2019 and reportedly the biggest decrease since World War II.
As many would expect, the main culprit behind this significant dip in U.S. life expectancy is in fact COVID-19.
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Unfortunately, the dip in U.S. life expectancy is even worse for certain demographics. According to Complex, the life expectancies for Hispanic Americans and Black Americans were approximately two times as worse as the decline for the total United States population. In contrast to the previously mentioned 1.5-year decline, the expectancy for Hispanic Americans dropped by three years, from 81.8 to 78.8. Black Americans’ life expectancy suffered a similar decrease, having dropped 2.9 years from 74.7 to 71.8.
Although much of these numbers are simply the result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this troubling report does come roughly one week after the CDC announced that drug overdose deaths in the United States had climbed to a new record high, so stay tuned for more public health-related updates.