This month, the NCHS released the provisional life expectancy estimates from the year 2020. The results? A decline by 1.5% since the previous 2019 estimates. 

The main cause of the decline was due to COVID-19 and could continue to influence the life expectancy of individuals in years to come. 

Before COVID-19 made its first appearance, the U.S population lived to be 78.8 years old on average. For males, the average was 76.3 years of age, and for females it was 81.4 years of age. Now, the average age for the U.S population is 77.3 years of age. For males, the average has dropped 1.8 years, and for females the average has dropped by 1.2 years. 

Still, the individuals that had the most impact on life expectancy due COVID-19 was the Hispanic and Black population. The longevity for the Hispanic population has dropped by 3 years between 2019 and 2020, and for the Black population relative to the white population is a 4-year difference (with the Black population having the lower life expectancy).  

Although COVID-19 contributed to 73.8% of the decline in life expectancy, there are other factors that played a significant role in the survival rate between 2019-2020:

  • Homicide
  • Unintentional injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Suicide

Although it is not always possible to prevent the inevitable, we can always find a way to have healthier behavior on the daily. Here are ways to prolong life , according to the CDC:

  • avoid smoking
  • exercise regularly
  • limit alcohol consumption

COVID-19 has taken a toll on everyone, but there are always ways to continue to live a healthy lifestyle amidst a pandemic. We may be declining in life expectancy, but, by getting vaccinated, and living a healthier lifestyle, we will soon be able to change that. 

Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker is a health reporter at The Pavlovic Today.