The Decline Of Life Expectancy In The United States

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : February 12, 2022

Life expectancy is the average estimation of how long a person can expect to live. The life expectancy at birth is the most common life expectancy. It is a hypothetical measure.

The Decline Of Life Expectancy In The United States

The estimation of life expectancy is the age-specific mortality rate for a period of time compared with the whole population alive in that time. It is usually given for a specific category rather than a whole population as it differs according to sex, race, age, etc. It is a reflection of the local conditions of a country.

The Decline Of Life Expectancy In The United States

Life expectancy is comparatively low in less developed countries than in well-developed ones. If there is a high infant mortality rate in a country, then that country’s life expectancy will be relatively low.

A life table is constructed in order to calculate the life expectancy of a country. The table consists of all the information regarding the birth and death in a population for a specific age or gender.

This information is collected through statistical methods which give all the relevant data, then the average life expectancy for a specific gender or age is calculated.

The accuracy of the data entirely depends on the purity of the data collected. The complete table shows the life expectancy of every age group depending on the population. There is also another method of calculating life expectancy: Healthy or Disability-free life expectancy, which is the average of the years a person lives in good health.

The life expectancy of the U.S has substantially increased over the last decade as compared to other countries since the medical care and the accessibility of health care improved. However, since the ’80s the life expectancy of the States has diverged and increased in fewer years than compared to other countries.

The covid-19 pandemic has had an unimaginably huge impact on the life expectancy of a country’s population. The mortality rate and premature death rates have increased in the U.S ever since the pandemic as compared with peer countries. There is a significant gap in life expectancy between the States and other countries as estimated in 2020.

The life expectancy was on a higher level for the U.S during 2018-2019 that is, before the covid era. Due to the pandemic, the life expectancy at birth had a huge decline in other countries as well. According to the CDC, the life expectancy decreased to 77 years of age in 2020 as compared to previous years which was 78.8 years.

The excess mortality was observed in 2020 to estimate the life expectancy data. The CDC says that if the excess mortality in 2021 remains lower than the excess mortality of 2020 then the life expectancy may slightly increase but still remain low as compared to the pre-covid rates.

Statistics show that the life expectancy according to gender reveals that the difference in life expectancy of men and women has increased since the pandemic in the U.S compared to peer countries.

According to recent data, the states in the U.S that have comparatively lower rates of life expectancy are Ohio, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia, and Mississippi.

However, if the expenditure for better healthcare facilities and accessibility is taken into account, then the outcome would be a higher rate for the country’s whole population in terms of life expectancy at birth.

The peer countries have spent comparatively less on healthcare than the U.S and they still have a higher life expectancy rate. Nevertheless, the U.S has made commendable changes in its healthcare systems, contributing to a higher life expectancy rate in the future.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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