Life expectancy in the U.S. fell by a full year in the half of 2020, CDC data published Thursday shows.
Why it matters: The decline from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.8 years for January through June 2020 marks the biggest fall in longevity since World War II, underscoring the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S.
- The drop is even larger for Black and Latino Americans, who've been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
By the numbers: Over 490,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S. since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins data.
- The CDC figures show that in the first six months of 2020, life expectancy for non-Hispanic Black people fell by 2.7 years, from 74.7 to 72.
- For Hispanic people there was a fall of 1.9 years, from 81.8 to 79.9, while for non-Hispanic white people there was a drop of 0.8 years, from 78.8 to 78.
Of note: The period the CDC measured came as deaths from COVID-19 began to surge.
- Health scientist Elizabeth Arias, a co-author of the CDC report, told the Wall Street Journal it's "very concerning when we see mortality increase to such a degree."
- "It gives you a clear picture of the magnitude of the effect of the COVID pandemic," she added.