Aug, 2021 - By SMI
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, the average life expectancy of people in the U.S. had decreased to 77.3 years in 2020 compared to 78.8 years in 2019.
New data from the CDC reveals that average life expectancy in the U.S. fell by 1.5 years over 2020. This shocking change in life expectancy can be associated to the high rate of COVID-19 mortalities that the U.S. has witnessed over the course of the pandemic. It is important to mention in this context that around 34 million COVID-19 confirmed cases and 604, 252 deaths were reported in the U.S. since COVID-19 first reached the country. The data for this study are gathered from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the main agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System that processes and disseminates death and birth records for the U.S. Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White populations are the three racial and ethnic groups considered for this study. The researchers found that the life expectancy of men in the U.S. had changed in comparison to women’s life expectancy. For instance, the estimated life expectancy for men in 2020 was 74.5 years, which fell by 1.8 years compared to 2019. Whereas, the life expectancy rate for women declined from 81.4 years in 2019 to 80.2 years in 2020. Additionally, disparities in life expectancy were observed in the Black population, which accounted for a change of 2.9 years between 2019 and 2020. Importantly, the rate of decrease in life expectancy observed in the Black population was over two times higher than the rate of life expectancy recorded in the White population. Moreover, the rate of life expectancy in Hispanic individuals was 2.9 times higher compared to the decrease rate observed in the White population.
Taken together, life expectancy rates during the current COVID-19 pandemic help in identifying which ethnic group or people have been most affected by the pandemic. The findings of the study shed light on systemic inequalities in health, wealth, and wellbeing and how these systems often disadvantage people of color while unfairly giving advantages to White people in the U.S.
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