According to a study published on Thursday, experts unveils that life expectancy in the United States dropped to its lowest level in 15 years. Reports also show that life expectancy is even lower for Black Americans and Latinos, during the first half of the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the US life expectancy by an average of 1.13 years. The study was published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researches estimate US life expectancy at birth would have been 78.61 years in 2020. Studies estimated a decline of 1.13 years brings the average US life expectancy to 77.48 years, the lowest since 2003.
Study Finds That Life Expectancy In The US At Its Lowest In 15 Years
Dr. Lien McDougle, president of the National Medical Association said that “It was disturbing to see that gains that have been made for the Black Community and decreasing the gap between life expectancy for African Americans and White Americans over the past six years had come to a halt”. The researchers also reported that “The US reduction in 2020 life expectancy is projected to exceed that of most other high-income countries, indicating that the US which already had a life expectancy below that of all other high-income developed nations prior to the pandemic will see its life expectancy fall even farther behind its peers”.
The overall life expectancy was steadily declining due to a variety of public health issues
The life expectancy gap between Black, Latino, and white populations was narrowing even before the pandemic. Reports show that the overall life expectancy was steadily declining because of a variety of public health issues. As per the study, life expectancy in the US decreased from 2014 to 2017 by 3 years. It slightly increased in 2018 through 2019 by 2 years. This report was released by The Centre for disease prevention and control.
The associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Michal Engelman said that the nation saw a backslide because of the pandemic. She also said that “this has been an issue of concern for a while, that we weren’t making progress and we were sliding a little bit backwards. After a couple of years of worrisome declines, we dropped as a country a whole year just in the first half of 2020”.
As per the reports published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, COVID-19 was expected to reverse more than 10 years of progress in closing the Black-white gap and cut the life expectancy advantage Latinos have other racial groups and ethnicities by more than 70%. The co-author of the study, Noreen Goldman, professor of demography and public affairs at Princeton University said,” the fallout from the pandemic may be worse. It is interesting that the two estimates are so close to one another. I think that the final estimate for the decline in the life expectancy in 2020 will be non-trivially higher”.