(The Hill) — Overall life expectancy in the United States dropped by 1.8 years from 2019 to 2020, new data show.
The declines affected all 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to a New National Vital Statistics Report, and ranged from as little as 0.2 years in some states to as many as three years in others.
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and its Division of Vital Statistics attributed the dips to the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in drug overdose deaths.
The drop is the largest year-to-year change in more than 75 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last year.
New York state experienced the biggest decrease, dropping three years, and D.C. was a close runner-up at 2.7 years.
Twelve other states saw declines of two years or more, including southern border states Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, as well as Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, and South Carolina.
Hawaii saw a decline of just 0.2 years. Oregon, Washington, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire also saw decreases of one year or less.
As of these 2020 changes, Hawaii has the highest life expectancy at birth, at 80.7 years, while Mississippi has the lowest, at 71.9 years.
The difference in life expectancy at birth between the sexes was averaged at 5.7 years, with females leading males in all 50 states and D.C.
The highest male-female difference was recorded in D.C., at seven years, while the lowest difference was noted in Utah, at 3.9 years.
The CDC recorded 528,891 more deaths in 2020 than the year prior. COVID-19 was the noted cause in 350,831 deaths, or 10.4 percent of the 2020 total, according to the report.
This contributed to a 16.8 percent increase in the age-adjusted death rate for the U.S., the largest such jump in annual mortality data on record, according to the CDC.