Life expectancy drops in U.S. for second year
The pandemic saw the U.S experience its largest drop in average life expectancy since nearly 100 years ago, according to CDC data over a two-year period.
Driving the news: New provisional data released by the CDC this week shows that life expectancy at birth declined nearly a year from 2020 to 2021.
- Just last week, the CDC published data showing that life expectancy fell 1.8 years between 2019 and 2020.
- Together, the datasets show U.S. life expectancy at birth down 2.7 years over the two years — the largest two-year decline since 1921–1923.
The big picture: COVID-19 primarily fueled the drop, along with unintentional injuries, mainly drug overdoses.
By the numbers: The 2021 provisional data puts the average U.S. life expectancy at birth at 76.1 years, its lowest level since 1996.
Zoom in: In Pennsylvania, the average life expectancy was 76.8 in 2020, a dip of 1.5 years from 2019, according to finalized CDC data released earlier this month.
- Pennsylvania ranked 30th among states for life expectancy in 2020.
- Of note: The 2021 provisional data doesn't break down the data by state.
More than 46,700 people in the Keystone State have died from COVID-related complications, of which 5,259 were in Philadelphia, according to the state's online database.
- Plus: Drug overdose deaths were up an estimated 3% statewide in 2021 compared to the previous year, fueled by the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
In Philadelphia, life expectancy varies wildly by neighborhood due to a variety of economic and social issues, such as substance abuse and gun violence. Some areas of the city have a life expectancy separated by 20 years, according to a 2019 city report.
- Philadelphia is ranked the least healthy county in the state, according to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
- The city has yet to release its data around overdose deaths last year.
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