For the first time in decades, the U.S. life expectancy has declined. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a decline in the life expectancy of the average American by 0.1 years. While this figure appears small, according to Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, it matters a lot: “There’s not a better indicator of well-being than life expectancy,” he said in an interview with NPR. “The fact that it’s leveling off in the U.S. is a striking finding.”
The average life expectancy is still relatively high, at 78.8 years for both men and women, and has been increasing as medical science advances and good hygiene practices expand. However, it remains to be seen what the exact causes for this new decrease are, and how doctors and public health officials will react.
To read the CDC’s report, click here.