US life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII

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FILE – In this Wednesday, March 10, 2021 file photo, a couple walks through a park at sunset in Kansas City, Mo. According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II. Worse, the decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was a staggering three years. The decrease is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, which health officials say is responsible for close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

NEW YORK — U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II.

The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the calculations for 2020 early Wednesday. The drop is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, which health officials say is responsible for close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline.

Killers other than COVID-19 played a role.

Drug overdoses pushed life expectancy down. And rising homicides were a small but significant reason for the decline for Black Americans.

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