Aug. 24, 2022 -- Life expectancy in the United States fell by 1.8 years in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, new figures from the federal government show.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia saw drops in life expectancy, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The declines were mostly because of COVID-19 and “unintentional injuries,” such as drug overdoses.
The overall drop took national life expectancy from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77 years in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, ABC News reported.
States in the West and Northwest generally had higher life expectancy, with states in the South having the lowest.
Hawaii had the highest life expectancy at 80.7 years. It was followed by Washington, Minnesota, California, and Massachusetts. Mississippi had the lowest at 71.9 years, the figures show. The others in the bottom five were West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, and Kentucky.
In 2020, COVID-19 was the third-highest cause of death, leading to more than 350,000, the CDC reported earlier this year. At the same time, more people are dying annually from drug overdoses. A record 83,500 fatal overdoses were reported in 2020.