Life expectancy in the US fell by a year and a half in 2020 to 77.3 years — the lowest level since 2003, the Centers for Disease and Prevention announced Wednesday.
Deaths from COVID-19 largely contributed to the drop, accounting for 73.8 percent of the decline in life expectancy, according to researchers with the Centers for Disease and Prevention.
In 2019, US life expectancy was 78.8 years.
It is the largest one-year decline since World War II, when life expectancy fell 2.9 years between 1942 and 1943, and is six months shorter than its February 2021 estimate, according to the agency.
“Life expectancy has been increasing gradually every year for the past several decades,” CDC researcher Elizabeth Arias, who worked on the report, told Reuters.
“The decline between 2019 and 2020 was so large that it took us back to the levels we were in 2003. Sort of like we lost a decade,” she added.
More than 3.3 million