The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) collects and disseminates the nation’s official vital statistics through the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), with life expectancy at birth established to represent the average number of years a group of infants would live if they were to experience throughout life the age-specific death rates prevailing during a specific time period.
In 2020, per the new findings, life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population was 77.3 years, which is a decline of 1.5 years from 78.8 in 2019. Meanwhile, life expectancy at birth for men was 74.5 years in 2020—marking a fall of 1.8 years from 76.3 years in 2019—and life expectancy for women declined to 80.2 years, in 2020 after hitting 81.4 years in 2019.
Between 2019 and 2020, life expectancy decreased by three years for Hispanic Americans, falling from 81.8 to 78.8. It also decreased by 2.9 years for Black Americans, falling from 74.7 to 71.8.
Of the overall decline in life expectancy for Americans, the National Center for Health Statistics has determined that COVID-19 contributed to at least 74 percent of the problem. Also of note amid 2020-focused statistics of this variety is the alarming number of drug overdoses. In 2020 alone, more than 93,000 people died due to overdose, which is the highest such number ever recorded in a single year.