The average Joe will lose 2 years of life
US life expectancy in 2020 has suffered an almost two-year drop, with the pandemic being one of the main drivers of excess death, newly released official data has shown.
“Life expectancy for the US population in 2020 was 77.0 years, a decrease of 1.8 years from 2019,” reads the report from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
Covid-19 became the third leading cause of death in 2020, with heart disease and cancer remaining the top two leading causes. According to CDC figures, coronavirus was “the underlying cause of death” of 350,831 people, the equivalent of 10.4% of the total number of deaths in 2020. Death rates in 2020 increased for all age groups over 15.
In a separate analysis, based on historical censuses and annual population estimates, the US Census Bureau reported that the country’s population “grew at a slower rate in 2021 than in any other year since the founding of the nation”: by just 392,665, or 0.1%.
“The year 2021 is the first time since 1937 that the US population grew by fewer than one million people, featuring the lowest numeric growth since at least 1900, when the Census Bureau began annual population estimates,” reads the report.
According to Census Bureau demographer Kristie Wilder, population growth “has been slowing for years” due to lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, while mortality rates keep rising because of the aging of the population.“Now, with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in a historically slow pace of growth,” she added.