WASHINGTON: Life expectancy in the US fell in 2021, for the second year in a row and the biggest drop in almost 100 years, a report said.
In 2019, someone born in the country had a life expectancy of nearly 80 years, Xinhua news agency quoted the National Public Radio (NPR) report as saying.
In 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, that dropped to 77 years and last year, life-span dropped again to 76.1 years, said the report.
According to the provisional analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the most dramatic drops in life expectancy in 2021 was among American Indian and Alaskan Native people.
Between 2020 and 2021 the life expectancy for this group fell by almost two years, from 67.1 in 2020 to 65.2 in 2021, it said.
The CDC statistics also highlight stark differences in life expectancy between men and women. For men, life expectancy fell by about a year to 73.2 in 2021 while women’s life expectancy fell by 10 months to 79.1
Unintentional injuries, a term which also includes drug overdoses, reached record highs in 2021 and contributed to 15.9 per cent of the decline, according to the CDC.
Deaths from heart disease, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis and suicides were also significant contributors.
Life expectancy in the US is among the lowest of developed nations around the world, the BBC reported.
In the UK, life expectancy stood at around 79 for men and 82.9 for women in 2020 after it fell for the first time in 40 years.
According to the latest available statistics from the World Bank, Hong Kong and Japan have the world’s highest life expectancies at around 85 followed by Singapore at 84.
Life expectancy in countries including Switzerland, Australia, Norway hovers at around 83.