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Life expectancy in the United States fell by an average of two years between 2019 and 2020, across all 50 states and Washington D.C., according to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Declines in average age of death varied greatly between states, analysts reported. Hawaii had the smallest decline, dropping by 0.2 years when compared to New York, which had the highest decline at three years. States with the greatest decreases in life expectancy at birth were clustered in the Southwest and U.S.–Mexico border area, including Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

In 2020, Hawaiians had the longest average expected life spans at birth, at 81 years, and those who lived until age 65 could expect an estimated 21 additional years of life. Mississippi had the shortest life spans, at 72 years, with an average of 16 more years of life expected after age 65. 

The average difference in longevity between females and males during the study period was 5.7 years, ranging from 3.9 years in Utah to 7 years in Washington, D.C.

Life expectancy at birth for the entire United States was 77 overall, with men living to an average age of 74 and women to age 80.

Another recent study using county-level data has found an overall upward trend in Americans’ life spans over a longer time period, from 2000 and 2019. But this uptick was not seen in some racial, ethnic and geographic populations, investigators reported in the Lancet.

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