Compared to 2019, life expectancy for non-Hispanic Black people in the USA fell about three times what it did for non-Hispanic White people, by 2.7 years.
They're more likely to be in front-line, low-wage jobs and living in crowded environments where it's easier for the coronavirus to spread, and "there are stark, preexisting health disparities" that raise their risk of dying of COVID-19, she said.
The CDC says the nation has not seen such a big decline since World War II.
As vaccines continue to be administered, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect countries around the globe, with the number of confirmed cases worldwide now surpassing 110 million, with over 2,432,000 deaths worldwide, with the United States having the most confirmed cases and deaths in the world. For females, life expectancy declined to 80.5 years, a 0.9 year decrease from 2019.
This is a level lower than what it was in 2006, the first year for which life expectancy estimates for Hispanic Americans were produced. Life expectancy, with few modest exceptions, had risen steadily in the USA since the mid-20th century.
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The cause of the elevated death rate observed by British scientists in the collection of studies utilized was not immediately clear.
White Americans saw their life expectancy advantage compared to Blacks increase by a staggering 46%, from 4.1 to 6 years, reversing a trend that had been narrowing the gap between the two races since 1993. They will get worse for everyone, but because the deaths in the first half of the year were concentrated in areas with large Black and Latino populations, there will probably be a greater share of white deaths in the full-year numbers, the NCHS's Elizabeth Arias, lead author of the paper, told The Washington Post. It's already known that 2020 was the deadliest year in US history, with deaths topping 3 million for the first time. In the first half of last year, that was 77.8 years for Americans overall, down one year from 78.8 in 2019.
Because males as well as black and Hispanic people are more likely to have deaths related to the virus, it would help explain why life expectancy rates fell dramatically in these populations.
The gap between Hispanic and white non-Hispanic individuals narrowed, however, from three years in 2019 to 1.9 in 2020.
"Life expectancy at birth. may be underestimated since the populations more severely affected, Hispanic and non-Hispanic black populations, are more likely to live in urban areas", the report says. One is that the data is from the first six months of 2020 - so it does not reflect the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"If you'll recall, in recent pre-pandemic years there were slight drops in life expectancy due in part to the rise in overdose deaths", explains NCHC spokesperson Jeff Lancashire in an email to NPR.