Aug 30, 2022 - News

We're living shorter lives in Arkansas and everywhere

Data: Arias, et al., 2022, "U.S. State Life Tables, 2020"; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

The average life expectancy in Arkansas dropped from 75.7 years in 2019 to 73.8 in 2020, according to new CDC data published last week.

The big picture: This was a nationwide trend. Life expectancy in the U.S. fell in all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2019 to 2020 and dropped nationally by 1.8 years, Axios' Jacob Knutson writes.

What happened: The decline can be mostly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and increases in drug overdose deaths.

Zoom in: Arkansas had 546 people die from drug overdoses in 2020, according to the CDC.

Yes, and: The CDC said that Southern states and D.C. were more likely to have lower life expectancies, as were Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio and Oklahoma, but didn't specify why.

State of play: A study released in April showed that U.S. life expectancy likely dropped again in 2021, Knutson writes. The researchers found that it fell by 0.4 of a year, leading to a net loss of 2.26 years over 2020 and 2021.

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