A report released Wednesday has shown that life expectancy in the United States has dropped in a way unseen since World War II as a consequence of the spread of COVID-19.
Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that life expectancy in 2020 stood 77 years, a 1.8-year decrease from 2019 and the biggest decline in more than 75 years. COVID-19 was the third-ranking cause of death, due to which life expectancy for men fell 2.1 years from 76.3 in 2019 to 74.2 in 2020, while life expectancy among women dipped 1.5 years from 81.4 in 2019 to 79.9 in 2020.
COVID-19 stood behind only heart disease and cancer as cause of death. Meanwhile, data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau showed that US population grew by 392,665, or 0.1%, in the 12-month period ending July 1, the lowest rate in quite a while.
The year 2021 is the first time since 1937 that the U.S. population grew by fewer than one million people, featuring the lowest numeric growth since at least 1900, when the Census Bureau began annual population estimates, the bureau said. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the slower growth the country has experienced in recent years, it went on.
Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation's population, said Kristie Wilder, a demographer at the bureau. Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in a historically slow pace of growth, she elaborated.
Data from Johns Hopkins University showed COVID-19 cases in the United States have surpassed 51 million, with the death toll topping 810,000.