U.S. Life Expectancy Plunged in 2020, Especially for Black and Hispanic Americans

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CHICAGO — Life expectancy in the United States fell by a year and a half in 2020, largely because of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, a federal report said on Wednesday, a staggering drop that affected Hispanic and Black Americans more severely than white people.

It was the steepest decline in life expectancy in the United States since World War II.

From 2019 to 2020, Hispanic people experienced the greatest drop in life expectancy — three years — and Black Americans saw a decrease of 2.9 years. White Americans experienced the smallest decline, of 1.2 years.

The numbers can vary from year to year, providing only a snapshot in time of the general health of a population: If an American child was born today and lived an entire life under the conditions of 2020, that child would be expected to live 77.3 years, down from 78.8 in 2019.

The last time life expectancy was so low was in…

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