Life Expectancy Declines By 3 Years in New York in 2020, And It Doesn't Stop There Due to Covid and its residual impact, New York state, as well as the rest of the country, saw dramatic declines in life expectancy in the first year of the pandemic.

By Madeline Garfinkle

In the biggest drop since World War II, overall life expectancy in the U.S. dropped by 1.8 years, with the most dramatic decline in New York, with a drop of three years, according to a new National Vital Statistics report. The second biggest drop in life expectancy was in Washington, D.C., which saw a 2.7-year decline.

The report attributed the largest year-to-year drop in nearly 80 years to the pandemic and an increase in drug overdoses.

In 2019, New York state had the third-highest life expectancy. After the three-year drop in 2020, it's now the 15th in the ranking.

An additional study by the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine found that, despite a steady decline in Covid deaths, life expectancy continued to drop in 2021, from 76.99 years in 2020 to 76.60 years in 2021.

The dramatic decline in life expectancy reflects the aftermath of the pandemic, which may take years to recover from.

Related: This Is How Much Americans' Savings Have Plummeted With Inflation, Pandemic: Report

As for states relatively unphased, Hawaii had the smallest decline — with life expectancy going from 80.9 years in 2019 to just 80.7 in 2020. The island state remains one of the best places for longevity in the U.S.

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Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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