New data from the federal government reveals that in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, life expectancy in the United States decreased by 1.8 years.
The National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that life expectancy decreased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The COVID-19 and “unintentional injuries,” such as drug overdoses, were primarily to blame for the decrease.
According to ABC News, the overall decline reduced the country’s life expectancy from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77 years in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.
States in the South had the lowest life expectancy, while those in the West and Northwest generally had higher life expectancies.
At 80.7 years, Hawaii had the longest life expectancy. Washington, Minnesota, California, and Massachusetts came after it. The data reveals that Mississippi has the lowest life expectancy at 71.9 years. West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, and Kentucky rounded out the bottom five.
The CDC reported earlier this year that COVID-19 was the third-leading cause of mortality in 2020, accounting for more than 350,000 deaths. Additionally, more people are passing away each year from drug overdoses. In 2020, a record-breaking 83,500 fatal overdoses were recorded.