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Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker: Comparison of U.S. Life Expectancy to Other Countries

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Peterson/KFF Health System Tracker examines how life expectancy in the U.S. compares to that of other similarly large and wealthy countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Using provisional 2021 estimates, they also assessed how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected life expectancy in the U.S. compared to peer countries.

Their analysis find life expectancy in the U.S. fell by 2.7 years from 2019 to 2021, whereas in peer countries’ life expectancies fell by an average of just 0.2 years in this period. COVID-19 has erased two decades of life expectancy growth in the U.S., whereas the average life expectancy for comparable countries has decreased only marginally, to 2018 levels.

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