All these years, we've been hearing how our life expectancy just keeps increasing. That isn't the case anymore. According to an article from usatoday.com, Americans' have erased the healthy gains that were made in the last quarter century.

According to the article, the average American life expectancy fell from 77 years old to 76.4 years of age. That was life expectancy all the way back in 1996.

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So what happened that would cause this dramatic decrease in our life expectancy? Some blame low COVID-19 vaccination rates and the non-healthy American lifestyle.

Causes of death for Americans were led by the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • COVID-19

Other wealthy countries rebounded quickly after the pandemic, but they also had high vaccination rates, which we did not.

Other causes of death:

  • Unintentional Injuries
  • Strokes
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Drug overdoses


The life expectancy of other countries did NOT decline, so what is it that we are doing wrong? I remember over my entire lifetime, watching fitness take over; we talk about eating healthy, yet we have a supersized society, and I definitely have that battle along with many others.

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Is it all the fast food we have available?  I was shocked when I read that a 40-year-old individual with health issues was more likely to die of COVID-19 than someone of the same age with few health problems.  Are the health issues being caused by our diet? Our lack of exercise? Do we work too much and play too little? Is it the stress of our current economy?

The article also pointed out that it isn't yet clear why deaths are increasing in the younger populations including children when those deaths had been declining before the pandemic.

Maybe this is our wake-up call. If we don't value our own life; if we don't feed ourselves the healthiest diet; if we don't take time to enjoy life; if we don't move, then will these numbers continue to increase?  Perhaps a New Year's Resolution is needed.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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