There’s a perception that Americans are living longer than every, but a new study published Thursday shows that is not the case.

According to CDC data, life expectancy in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level in 15 years. As of 2020, life expectancy for the the total U.S. population fell to 77.8%, which is the lowest level since 2006.

The numbers were even worse for black Americans and Latinos.  Life expectancy for black populations had the biggest decline in 2020.  The age is now 72, which is the lowest it’s been since 2001. Life expectancy for Latinos fell 1.9 years and is now at 79.9. 

The reason for the larger decline with blacks and Latinos according to the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is they had disproportional effects from COVID-19. 

Dr. Leon McDougle, the present of the National Medical Association explained it this way. “It was disturbing to see that gains that have been made for the Black community and decreasing the gap between life expectancy for African Americans and (white) Americans over the past six years had come to a halt.”

The trend over the past four decades is while life expectancy has increased slowly, it was very infrequent that the numbers actually declined.  One factor that affected the overall number from 2014 – 2017 was it was the height of the opioid epidemic.

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