Coronavirus pandemic cuts life expectancy by most since World War II

According to a study published by Oxford University, the COVID-19 pandemic reduced life expectancy in 2020 by the largest amount since World War II.

Iran PressEurope: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the biggest decrease in life expectancy in western Europe since the second world war, according to a study.

Data from most of the 29 countries – spanning most of Europe, the US, and Chile – that were analyzed by scientists recorded reductions in life expectancy last year and at a scale that wiped out years of progress.

The biggest declines in life expectancy were among males in the US, with a decline of 2.2 years relative to 2019 levels, followed by Lithuanian males (1.7 years).

Life expectancy losses exceeded those recorded around the time of the dissolution of the eastern bloc in central and eastern Europe, according to the research, led by scientists at Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science.

Dr. José Manuel Aburto, a co-lead author of the study, said: “For western European countries such as Spain, England, and Wales, Italy, Belgium, among others, the last time such large magnitudes of declines in life expectancy at birth were observed in a single year was during the second world war.”

Aburto said the scale of the life expectancy losses was stark across most of those countries studied, with 22 of them experiencing larger losses than half a year in 2020.

Males experienced larger life expectancy declines than females across most of the 29 countries. Most life expectancy reductions across different countries were attributable to official COVID-19 deaths, according to the paper.


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US life expectancy plunges in the largest decline since WWII