For many years the life expectancy for the average American increased, and as a result, so did the reserve estimate for lifetime awards in workers’ compensation claims. Maybe it is time to re-think that assumption in the mathematical calculation.
American life expectancy decreased by a full year in the first half of 2020, hitting its lowest point since 2006, as the Covid-19 pandemic burned through the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the findings Thursday in a first-of-its-kind report based on provisional vital statistics data, joining the annual and decennial national life tables that the agency typically publishes.
According to the analysis in the report by Courthouse News, life expectancy summarizes the mortality conditions in a given year, providing a baseline for health officials to track changes across populations and over time.
According to the latest data, pandemic-related deaths have deepened life-expectancy disparities along racial and ethnic lines that were already striking.
The CDC put the latest life-expectancy gap between Black and white Americans at six years – the largest since 1998. In addition to reporting on the three-year fall in the expected life spans of Black Americans, the CDC observed a nearly two-year drop in the lives of Hispanic Americans, another group whom white Americans statistically tend to outlive.
“This is a huge decline,” Robert Anderson, who oversees the numbers for the CDC, announced on Thursday. “You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this.”
The study from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics backs up what other researchers have been finding.
In an email, University of Southern California postdoctoral scholar Theresa Andrasfay called it “another important piece of evidence of the enormous mortality toll – and the large racial and ethnic disparities – of Covid-19.”
Andrasfay was the co-author of a similar study on the subject that appeared last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.