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How is U.S. life expectancy changing?

The Economist’s daily chart Why are Americans’ lives getting shorter? (11/27/19) provides the graphic copied here.

After climbing gradually over the past half century, life expectancy in America reached a plateau in 2010 and then fell for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017, the latest for which data are available.

Why? Some of it is due to “deaths of despair” with a 386.5% increase in adult drug overdoses from 1999 to 2017. Still:

But the authors note that mortality has increased across 35 causes of death, suggesting that the problem is systemic. Moreover, all racial and ethnic groups have been affected.

OECD life expectancy data.  Starting point for CDC data.

 

About Thomas J. Pfaff

Thomas J. Pfaff is a Professor of Mathematics at Ithaca College. He created this website because he believes that sustainability, ranging from climate change to social justice, should be included in all courses whenever possible.

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