Covid drives US life expectancy down.
elderly couple walking

US life expectancy just dropped by the biggest decline in 100 years. 

Americans born in 2021 are expected to live for 76.1 years, which is the lowest life expectancy since 1996. This is a 2.7-year drop, making it the biggest two-year decline in almost 100 years. 

Overdoses, accidents, and heart disease were significant contributing causes but the primary driver of the decline is the Covid-19 pandemic, which accounted for nearly half of the decline. 

It’s unclear how long the effects of Covid will affect life expectancy but scientists and health organizations are continuing to tackle the pandemic. Just this week the FDA authorized a new Covid booster that has been adapted for Omicron subvariants.

The groups most affected by the drop are American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Their life expectancy has dropped from 71.8 to 65.2 years since 2019. The 6.6-year drop mirrors the losses seen after the Spanish Flu. On the other hand, Asian Americans have the highest life expectancy.

American life expectancy was on a steady incline for decades thanks to efforts to reduce smoking and fewer people dying from related diseases. Around 2010, however, life expectancy began to stagnate even as most other developed countries continued to see increases.

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