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US Life Expectancy In 2020 Saw Biggest Drop Since WWII

FILE: People wear masks as they visit a public beach during Memorial Day weekend on May 24, 2020 in Montauk, New York. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II.

The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the calculations for 2020 early Wednesday.

The drop is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, which health officials say is responsible for close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline.

Killers other than COVID-19 played a role. Drug overdoses pushed life expectancy down. And rising homicides were a small but significant reason for the decline for Black Americans.

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