Life expectancy in the United States dropped a staggering one year during 2020 as coronavirus claimed more American lives than the greatest war. Blacks and Hispanics suffered the worst death rates, researchers say, but also people with cancer, heart disease and other conditions.
For decades, U.S. life expectancy was on the upswing, rising a few months nearly every year. But from 2014 to 2017, it fell slightly or held steady.
The United States, despite massive expenditures on health care, has seen increasing mortality and falling life expectancy for people ages 25 to 64, who should be in the prime of their lives.
Drug overdoses set another annual record in 2017, cresting at 70,237 — up from 63,632 the year before, the government said in a companion report.
Local officials say education is the key to helping people live longer, healthier lives.
For the second year in a row, the U.S. life expectancy rate dropped, decreasing in 2016 to 78.6, a loss of 0.1 from the previous year.