COVID-19 has taken a terrible toll around the world. There have been 242,987,401 cases worldwide. It is generally agreed that this figure is undercounted, perhaps by a large margin. A total of 4,938,251 people have died, a number which is probably too low. The hardest hit nation is the United States which has had 45,406,263 cases and 735,964 deaths. That means that over one in every 500 Americans have died from the virus. And the number climbs by over 1,000 a day.
The United Nations estimates that global average life expectancy in 2020 was 75.6 years for women and 70.8 years for men. In several countries, including South Korea, Italy and Switzerland and Japan, people on average live well into their 80s, while in several African nations, average life expectancy lingers in the lower 50s for men and mid-50s for women.
But the COVID-19 global pandemic has become a speed bump on the road to longer lives. According to one regional study, life expectancy at birth declined in 2020 in 27 out of 29 developed countries compared to 2019.
The United States and the Baltic state of Lithuania (population 2.8 million) experienced the biggest declines in life expectancy among the countries included in the study, at 2.2 years and 1.7 years, respectively. These declines were attributed mostly to a rise in mortality among people over the age of 60 who are more susceptible to COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths.
To find how many years of life expectancy each country lost due to COVID-19, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed research by scientists at University of Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The research examined life expectancy losses at different ages in 29 countries, representing most of Europe, Chile, and the U.S. 24/7 Wall St. only considered life expectancy at birth losses, ranking the countries from lowest to highest loss regardless of sex (in most cases males had the largest loss, but in some cases females did). COVID-19 cases per country are from 10/13/2021. Covid data for England, Scotland and N. Ireland all from WHO’s data on United Kingdom.
The country where life expectancy fell the most was the United States. Here are the details:
> Chg. in life expectancy at birth, 2019-2020: -2.23 years (M), -1.65 years (F)
> Life expectancy at birth, 2019: 76.74 years (M) — #21 highest on list
> Life expectancy at birth, 2020: 74.51 years (M) — #22 highest on list
> Total COVID-19 cases per 100,000 as of 10/13/2021: 13,351.80 — #3 highest on list