U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline

Why are Americans dying younger?

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Apr 22, 2019

U.S. life expectancy has declined 3 years in a row, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The average American life expectancy was 78.6 years in 2017, down from 78.7 years in 2016. While that drop is small, it’s significant in that it represents the third consecutive year of decline. Experts attribute the trend to an increase in accidental and unintentional deaths from drug overdoses as a result of opioids.

The report is in NCHS Data Brief, No. 328, 2018. To learn more, visit cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db328-h.pdf.

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

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