US life expectancy dropped for the second year in a row, according to a new study published in medRxiv and the authors suggest that low vaccination rates and reduced pandemic precautions may have driven the continued decline. While US life expectancy declined by 2.26 years from 78.8 in 2019 to 76.6 in 2021, countries with higher vaccination rates experienced dips, but on a much smaller scale.

Life expectancy in England and Wales dropped to 80.8 years in 2020 from 81.7 years in 2019 but rose back to 81.0 years in 2021. The average life expectancy for New Zealanders was 82.0 in 2021, a fall from 2020 (82.3 years) but a rise from 81.6 years in 2019.

Life expectancy changes from 2019-2021

Source: USSC