NEW YORK — Life expectancy in New York declined by three years in 2020 to 77.7 years, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Nationally, life expectancy dropped to 77 years in 2020, down from 78.8 in 2019. No state saw an increase in life expectancy in 2020.
COVID-19 is behind the largest spike in mortality in 100 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In New York, 37,627 people died of COVID-19 illnesses in 2020, according to a U.S. News & World Report database. From the beginning of the pandemic to now, 70,514 New Yorkers have died of coronavirus infections.
While New York is 15th in the nation in terms of life expectancy at birth, the state is 21st in the nation regarding life expectancy at age 65. New Yorkers who are 65 can, on average, expect to live another 18.4 years. New York women are 16th in the nation, with an expectation of living 19.9 years after reaching 65. New York men, on the other hand, are 28th in the nation, looking forward to an additional 16.8 years above 65.
New York is one of eight states — including Louisiana, New Jersey, Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, Illinois and Texas — and the District of Columbia where life expectancy fell by more than two years. In fact, New York leads the nation in the largest change, a decrease of three years, in life expectancy from 2019 to 2020.
Several states saw life expectancy decrease by less than a year, including Hawaii, where COVID-19 shaved only two months off a person’s life. Other states in that group were New Hampshire (four months), Maine (five months) and Washington and Oregon (both eight months).
The states with the highest life expectancy in 2020 are Hawaii (80.7 years), Washington (79.2 years), Minnesota (79.1 years), and California, Massachusetts and New Hampshire (79 years).
The states with the lowest life expectancy in 2020 are from Southern states, including Mississippi (71.9 years), West Virginia (72.8 years), Louisiana (73.1 years), Alabama (73.2 years) and Kentucky (73.5 years).
Dr. Robert Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, told NBC News the trend could continue when the 2021 report is issued, because COVID-19 deaths continued to increase that year.
“We really haven’t really seen anything like this since the 1918 flu pandemic,” he told the network.
After the flu outbreak, the average life expectancy fell from 50.9 years in 1917 to 39.1 years in 1918, he said.
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