The fall is unprecedented for 75 years. The life expectancy of Americans at birth fell from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77 years in 2020, almost two years shorter, according to final figures from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) .
The gap in life expectancy between men and women has also widened, from 5.1 years in 2019 to 5.7 years in 2020: 74.2 years of life expectancy for men, against 79 , 9 for women in 2020.
Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020, with 350,000 deaths – behind cardiovascular disease and cancer.
These data are released after estimates released Tuesday, December 21, by the US Census Bureau, showing that the population of the United States increased in 2021 at the slowest rate on record.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thus accelerated a fundamental trend, with fewer births and more deaths. Between July 2020 and July 2021, the U.S. population growth was only 0.1%, according to the Census Bureau. The US population now stands at nearly 331.9 million.
“Population growth has been slowing for years due to falling birth rates and decreasing international migration, while the death rate is increasing due to the country’s aging population.”, said Kristie Wilder, a demographer at the census office, quoted in the release. “With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in a historically slow growth rate”, she added.
Highest population growth for Texas
Another consequence of the pandemic, some states, especially in the west, have gained inhabitants, while those in the northeast, urbanized, have lost. Texas thus recorded, in absolute value, the strongest growth (+ 1.1%), thanks mainly to the 170,000 people coming from another state and who chose to settle there.
Idaho attracted nearly 49,000 new inhabitants from another state and thus recorded the strongest growth in relation to its population (+ 2.9%).
In contrast, New York State saw its population fall below the 20 million mark (-1.6%). More than 352,000 people have chosen to leave this state for another in the country. The federal capital, Washington, recorded the largest percentage decline in population (-2.9%).
These figures are an estimate, based on data from the 2020 decennial census but also birth and death certificates and immigration figures. The 2020 census was upset by the pandemic on the one hand and by controversial methodological changes requested by former President Donald Trump on the other.
These data are essential to determine the electoral division of the 50 American states and the allocation of tens of billions of dollars of federal funds intended in particular for schools or hospitals. It also makes it possible to determine the weight of each state in the House of Representatives.
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Sharp drop in life expectancy in the United States, largely due to Covid-19