New CDC data shows life expectancy plummeting

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual National Vital Statistics report on Tuesday showing the nation’s life expectancy plummeted by almost two years from 2019 to 2020. 

Life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2020 was 77.0 years, a decline of 1.8 years from 2019 when it was 78.8.

For men, the number dropped 2.1 years from 76.3 in 2019 to 74.2 in 2020. For women, it was slightly lower, decreasing 1.5 years from 81.4 in 2019 to 79.9 in 2020.

The agency blames the pandemic. COVID was the third leading cause of death in 2020, but the nation also continues to struggle with high rates of preventable diseases that are dragging down averages including heart disease, cancer, and stroke. The CDC also points to the increasing number of drug overdose deaths. 

Data analysts also averaged numbers for each state. Hawaii came out on top with a life expectancy of 80.7 years. Mississippi has the lowest at 71.9 while a Hoosier’s lifespan currently stands at 75 years old—2 years less than the national average.