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Life expectancy, population growth rate drop in U.S. as COVID-19 pandemic takes hold
December 23,2021   By:Xinhua
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A person walks past a store at a holiday market in New York, the United States, Dec. 7, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
 
Mortality data released by the National Center for Health Statistics calculated U.S. life expectancy in 2020 at 77 years, a 1.8-year decrease from 2019 and the biggest decline in more than 75 years.
 
Dec. 23, 2021 -- U.S. life expectancy in 2020 fell by a deep degree not seen since at least World War II and COVID-19 was the third-ranking cause of death, final data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed.
 
Mortality data released by the National Center for Health Statistics calculated the life expectancy in 2020 at 77 years, a 1.8-year decrease from 2019 and the biggest decline in more than 75 years.
 
For men, life expectancy decreased 2.1 years from 76.3 in 2019 to 74.2 in 2020, while life expectancy among women dipped 1.5 years from 81.4 in 2019 to 79.9 in 2020, the data showed.
 
COVID-19 ranked as the nation's third leading cause of death last year, behind heart disease and cancer, and was relevant to about 351,000 deaths during the period, the figures showed.
 
Meanwhile, new census data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau showed that U.S. population grew by 392,665, or 0.1 percent, in the 12-month period ending July 1, the lowest rate ever recorded.
 
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A pedestrian walks past a memorial installation for those who died of COVID-19 outside Green-Wood Cemetery in New York, the United States, on June 14, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
 
"The year 2021 is the first time since 1937 that the U.S. population grew by fewer than one million people, featuring the lowest numeric growth since at least 1900, when the Census Bureau began annual population estimates," the bureau said in an article accompanying the data release, noting in particular that "the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the slower growth the country has experienced in recent years."
 
"Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation's population," said Kristie Wilder, a demographer at the bureau. "Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in a historically slow pace of growth."
 
Data from Johns Hopkins University showed COVID-19 cases in the United States have surpassed 51 million, with the death toll topping 810,000. 
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