Life expectancy
Life expectancy iStock

Life expectancy for Americans has fallen to its lowest level since 1996, BBC News reported.

The steep decline began with the pandemic and has so far not let up.

US government figures showed that life expectancy has fallen to 76.1 years compared to 79 years in 2019.

The decrease is the largest two-year drop in one hundred years.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention attributed the downward trend to COVID-19 as a main contributing factor.

The data found that COVID-19 was blamed for 50 percent of the decrease between 2020 and 2021, and for 74 percent between 2019 and 2020.

“Unintentional injuries” – which includes drug overdoses – also shot to record levels in 2021, accounting for 15.9 percent of the lowered expectancy level.

Significant in the figures were also deaths from heart issues, chronic liver disease, and suicides.

The decline in life expectancy was especially significant among Native American and Native Alaskan communities, with life expectancy dropping by 6.6 years since 2019.

The CDC also found that life expectancy among men decreased by around one year (73.2) while it decreased by 10 months for women (79.1)

The US has one of the lowest life expectancy averages of any developed nation.