Life expectancy in the United States has increased, but it is still lower than it was before the pandemic.
The average lifespan in the United States is increasing, but it is still lower than before the COVID-19 outbreak. Many factors, such as ongoing health issues, gun violence, and a widespread problem of fatal drug overdoses, continue to impact mortality rates in the country.
Based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy for a person born in 2022 in the United States is 77.5 years, which is an increase of 1.1 years from 2021. This improvement is largely due to a decrease in COVID-19 related deaths.
In 2019, the average lifespan in the U.S. was 78.8 years, just before the pandemic started. Although some similarly developed nations have rebounded to pre-pandemic life expectancy rates, the U.S. continues to fall behind due to its advanced economy and healthcare system.
There are significant disparities in life expectancy among different demographics in the United States. In 2022, women had a life expectancy of 80.2 years, while men had a significantly lower life expectancy of 74.8 years.
In 2022, Asian Americans who were born could anticipate living for 84.5 years. Hispanic Americans of any ethnicity had a life span of 80 years. White Americans had a similar average life expectancy of 77.5 years, while Black Americans had a lower expectancy of 72.8 years. The CDC reported the lowest life expectancy for American Indian and Alaska Native Americans at 67.9 years.
Behind peer countries
Doctor Leana Wen, who is an emergency physician and a professor of public health at The George Washington University, stated that there is both positive and negative news in this situation, as reported to VOA.
Wen expressed disappointment that life expectancy has not recovered significantly after the peak of the COVID pandemic. However, there has been a notable increase of over one year in life expectancy in 2022. It is believed that the majority of this positive change can be attributed to a decrease in COVID-related deaths.
“Prior to the COVID pandemic, the United States was already lagging behind our fellow nations in terms of life expectancy,” she remarked. “Even without the impact of COVID, there has been little progress in increasing life expectancy in the U.S. over the past ten years. Therefore, it is not unexpected that our recovery may not be as strong as other countries. It is crucial that we enhance our healthcare system in this country, particularly in terms of preventing illnesses and managing chronic diseases.”
In many parts of Europe, as well as in advanced economies in Asia like Japan and South Korea, the typical person has a life expectancy of over 80 years.
Coronavirus still matters
Although the number of coronavirus deaths has significantly decreased compared to previous years, the disease remains a significant danger to the lives of numerous Americans. This is due in part to the high prevalence of chronic illnesses among adults in the U.S., which increases the likelihood of succumbing to an infection.
Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the head of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, stated to VOA that there are further measures that could be taken to decrease fatalities caused by coronavirus, such as promoting and increasing the number of Americans receiving the vaccine for the disease.
He stated that the danger posed by the pandemic is just one aspect of the challenges that American public health officials are currently dealing with.
According to Sharfstein, there are numerous obstacles to the health of Americans that extend beyond COVID. Therefore, there is still progress to be made, and the pandemic has exacerbated many of these challenges.
Aside from enhancing preventative measures for respiratory diseases, Sharfstein’s group has also urged the government to take coordinated steps in tackling fatalities caused by overdoses, suicides, gun violence, car accidents, heat-related deaths, as well as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Reword: Alter by specific demographic categories
Although the CDC observed an increase in life expectancy across all demographic groups from 2021 to 2022, the extent of the increase differed greatly.
The life expectancy of American Indian and Alaskan Native individuals showed a significant increase of 2.4 years for men and 2.1 years for women compared to the previous year. However, this same group also experienced the largest decrease in life expectancy during the pandemic, with a loss of 6.2 years between 2019 and 2021.
In 2022, there was a significant increase in life expectancy for Hispanic American men by 2.4 years and for women by 1.7 years. However, as a whole, this group experienced a decrease in life expectancy of 4.1 years between 2019 and 2021.
In 2022, the average lifespan of Black men and women increased by 1.5 years. However, as a whole, Black Americans faced a decrease of 3.6 years in their life expectancy due to the pandemic.
During 2022, the life expectancy of male Asian Americans increased by 1.2 years, while Asian American women experienced a 0.7 year increase. However, as a whole, the life expectancy of Asian Americans declined by 2.1 years from 2019 to 2022.
In comparison to other groups, White Americans experienced the least recovery in life expectancy in the previous year. Men saw an increase of 1.1 years while women saw an increase of 0.6 years. However, as a whole, White Americans lost 2.1 years of life expectancy from 2019 to 2022.