Sep 2, 2022 - News

Virginians aren’t living as long

Change in U.S. life expectancy at birth, 2019-2020
Data: Arias, et al., 2022, "U.S. State Life Tables, 2020"; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

COVID-19 lowered Virginians' life expectancy by 1.5 years from 2019 to 2020, according to newly released CDC data.

Why it matters: The pandemic is taking a toll on our health.

  • Increases in unintentional injuries, specifically drug overdose deaths, also contributed.

By the numbers: Our life expectancy was 79.1 years in 2019, but dropped to 77.6 in 2020.

  • Virginia still did better than the rest of the country, which declined 1.8 years to 77.3 years old.
  • The greatest declines were in New York, with a three-year drop, and D.C. (2.7 years). The lowest decline was in Hawaii (0.2 years).

The big picture: According to preliminary 2020-21 data from the CDC, U.S. life expectancy dropped a historic 2.7 years between 2019-21.

  • It's the largest two-year drop since the 1920s.
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