U.S. average life expectancy falls for second consecutive year


The average life span in the U.S. fell in 2021 for a second consecutive year, compounding the effect of a decline in 2020 that was the largest since 1943. Preliminary data, NPR reported citing a new analysis, show the average U.S. life span contracting by just under a half-year in 2021, after a nearly two-year decline in 2020, the first year of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, when vaccines were not yet widely available. Prior to 2020, life expectancy in the U.S. had been on an effectively uninterrupted climb for generations. Princeton University demographer Noreen Goldman called it shameful “how poorly [the U.S. has] come through this pandemic.” Goldman joined Steven Woolf, a professor of population health and health equity at Virginia Commonwealth University, who participated in the analysis, in pointing to vaccine hesitancy and resistance to such public health measures as masking as factors in the 2021 life-span decline. The 2021 decline was, Woolf observed, concentrated in the white population.

Source: Marketwatch

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