How does life expectancy in the U.S. compare to other countries?

Our World in Data has the answer and more on their page Why is life expectancy in the U.S. lower than in other rich countries?

In the US health spending per capita is up to four times higher, yet life expectancy is lower than in all of these countries.

The US has achieved very substantial progress in health outcomes over the last 140 years: in 1880 the life expectancy of Americans was 39 years, since then it has doubled. But this extremely positive trend has come to an end. While life expectancy for people around the world continued to increase, life expectancy of Americans has declined since 2014. With the pandemic of 2020 – which already caused more than 225,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and 300,000 excess deaths – it is unfortunately already certain that the decline of life expectancy in the US will continue this year.

Normally, Our World in Data includes the data with each graph, but for some reason this one doesn’t have the data. I bet if you emailed them they would make it available.

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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