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Decrease Seen in U.S. Life Expectancy in First Half of 2020

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 -- Provisional life expectancy decreased in the first half of 2020, with larger decreases for males and non-Hispanic Blacks, according to a February Vital Statistics Rapid Release report, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Elizabeth Arias, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues provided life tables based on provisional vital statistics data to estimate life expectancy for January to June 2020.

The researchers found that for the total U.S. population, life expectancy at birth was 77.8 years in the first half of 2020, a decrease of 1.0 year from 78.8 years in 2019. Life expectancy at birth was 75.1 years and 80.5 years for males and females, respectively, in the first half of 2020, representing a decline of 1.2 and 0.9 years, respectively, from 2019. The difference in life expectancy between the sexes was 5.4 years in the first half of 2020, representing an increase from 5.1 years in 2019. Life expectancy varied by race, with a decrease of 2.7 years for non-Hispanic Blacks, 1.9 years for Hispanics, and 0.8 years for non-Hispanic Whites between 2019 and the first half of 2020.

"Provisional life expectancy at birth in the first half of 2020 was the lowest level since 2006 for both the total population (77.8 years) and for males (75.1), and was the lowest level since 2007 for females (80.5)," the authors write.

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