American life expectancy increases in 2022 after two years of decline

It was 80.2 years for women and 74.8 years for men. This improvement is “mainly due to the drop in mortality linked to Covid-19,” health authorities wrote on Wednesday.



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A street in New York (United States) in March 2023. (KOEN VAN WEEL / ANP MAG / AFP)

The life expectancy of Americans increased in 2022 after two years of sharp decline, the United States health authorities announced on Wednesday, November 29. It gained 1.1 years between 2021 and 2022 and stood at 77.5 years last year. This improvement is “mainly due to the drop in mortality linked to Covid-19”wrote the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But this increase “does not completely compensate for the loss of 2.4 years of life expectancy between 2019 and 2021”they added in their investigation (PDF Format). Before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, the life expectancy of Americans was 78.8 years. The drop in mortality linked to Covid-19 in 2022 was partly offset by an increase in mortality linked to influenza or pneumonia, noted the health authorities.

The number of suicides is increasing

The gap in life expectancy between men and women narrowed slightly in 2022, to 5.4 years. In detail, last year American women had a life expectancy of 80.2 years, compared to 74.8 for men. Considering the different populations, the life expectancy of Native Americans was the lowest in 2022, at only 67.9 years compared to 72.8 for black people, 77.5 for white people, 80 for Hispanics, and 84. 5 for Asians.

Life expectancy increased slightly in the United States in 2022, after two years of decline due in particular to the Covid-19 epidemic.  (CDC)

Health authorities, moreover, counted 49,450 suicides, according to provisional figures communicated in a separate report. The suicide rate was thus 14.3 deaths per 100,000 people in 2022, the highest since 1941. After reaching a low in 2000, the suicide rate rose sharply in the United States – despite a slight drop in 2019 and 2020. The country recently set up a hotline with a three-digit number (988) for people in distress.

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