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Life expectancy in the U.S. continues to drop, driven by COVID-19

Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the second consecutive year in 2021, reaching 76.1 years, the lowest in over a century. American Indian and Alaska Native populations experienced a particularly significant decline of 6.6 years, attributed to various barriers in accessing healthcare. Factors contributing to the overall decline include disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, attitudes toward vaccines, and underlying health challenges like heart disease and substance abuse. Click here for article.

  • U.S. life expectancy fell to 76.1 years in 2021, marking the second consecutive year of decline.

  • American Indian and Alaska Native populations experienced a staggering 6.6-year decrease in life expectancy between 2019 and 2021.

  • Barriers to healthcare access, disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, and vaccine hesitancy contributed to the decline.

  • White Americans saw a larger drop in life expectancy compared to Black and Hispanic Americans in 2021.

  • Other factors such as heart disease, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, suicide, and drug overdoses also played a role in the decline.

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