The United States suffered a major setback in life expectancy between 2019 and 2020. The average was 77 years, 1.8 years less than in 2019. This is a plunge not seen since World War II.
The Wall Street Journal published Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics reflecting the disaster. A striking case is New York, whose life expectancy fell from 80.7 to 77.7 years, the largest drop in the country, along with those experienced in Ohio (-2.7 years) and New Jersey and Alabama (-2.6).
Hawaii vs. Mississippi
The best figure was recorded by Hawaii, with an average of 80.7 years, followed by Washington (79.2) and Minnesota (79.1). In contrast, Mississippi (71.9), West Virginia (72.8) and Louisiana (73.1) had the worst records.
One positive statistic is the infant mortality rate, which decreased by 2.9% compared to 2019. All age ranges saw an increase in mortality except for children aged 1 to 4 years, whose 2020 figure was 0.6% below that of 2019.
By sex, male life expectancy is lower in all states. Hawaii had the best records for both sexes (77.6 years for men and 83.8 for women). In contrast, Mississippi scored the worst (68.6 and 75.2).
Main causes of mortality
Heart disease continued to be the leading cause of mortality among Americans. As many as 168 people per 100,000 died in 2020 due to heart conditions, 7 more than in 2019. After heart disease, cancer was the second leading cause of death. However, there was a slight decrease (from 146 to 144 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants). The third leading cause of death was COVID-19, which killed 85 out of every 100,000 people. In addition, there was an increase in the number of deaths due to diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and homicides.