Coronavirus, Overdoses, Homicides: Life Expectancy in U.S. Drops by 1.5 Years

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 22: A makeshift memorial sits on the site where Gyovanni Arzuaga, 24, and his girlfriend Yasmin Perez, 25, were shot during an altercation following a minor traffic accident as they celebrated their Puerto Rican heritage Saturday in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on June 22, 2021 in …
Scott Olson/Getty Images

U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020 due mostly to the coronavirus pandemic, but drug overdoses and rising homicides played a role as well, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released Wednesday.

The 1.5-year decline in life expectancy in the U.S. was the largest one-year decline since World War II, according to the report. Close to 74 percent of the overall decline was due to the pandemic.

Drug overdoses also pushed life expectancy down, particularly for white Americans, according to the report, while rising homicides were a “small but significant reason” for the decline amongst black Americans, the report’s lead author, Elizabeth Arias, said.

Jaime Puerta (C), holds a portrait of his son Daniel Puerta-Johnson, who died in April 2020 at the age of 16 from a pill containing fentanyl, during a news conference outside the Roybal Federal Building on February 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. - The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced Operation Engage to focus on education, prevention, and increasing public awareness surrounding the dangers of opioids frequently found in counterfeit pharmaceutical pills - particularly fentanyl - resulting in deaths. According to the DEA, while overdose deaths began increasing prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, they accelerated significantly during the first few months of the pandemic. Family members whose relatives have died from pills containing fentanyl seek to raise awareness among parents, urge deeper law enforcement investigations, and change the language used to describe deaths away from terms such as overdose, which can place blame on victims rather than the illegal distributors and manufacturers of deadly counterfeit pills. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Jaime Puerta (C), holds a portrait of his son Daniel Puerta-Johnson, who died in April 2020 at the age of 16 from a pill containing fentanyl, during a news conference outside the Roybal Federal Building on February 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

The pandemic took the greatest toll on Hispanics, responsible for 90 percent of the decline in life expectancy. The coronavirus was responsible for a 68 percent decline among white Americans and a 59 percent decline among black Americans.

More than 80 percent of last year’s coronavirus deaths were people 65 and older, the CDC data shows.

AUSTIN, TEXAS - AUGUST 07: EMS medics transport a man with possible Covid-19 symptoms to the hospital on August 07, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Nationwide the African American community continues to be disproportionally affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Austin-Travis County EMS has seen the number of new hospitalizations decrease, even as Covid-19 deaths continue. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

EMS medics transport a man with possible Covid-19 symptoms to the hospital on August 07, 2020 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

However, one New York Times senior writer argued that life expectancy has been dropping for some years, even before the pandemic.

David Leonhardt tweeted that increases in mortality are concentrated among working-class Americans, especially those without a four-year degree.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.