COVID Cost 5 Days Per American Versus 1.5 Year Life Expectancy Loss

CDC reported that life expectancy in the U.S. declined by 1.5 year in 2020 due to COVID and excess deaths but life expectancy one year snapshot assumes 2020 repeats forever.

Life expectancy calculations take the deaths and age of deaths in a year and then assume this will repeat in the future. There were 3,358,814 deaths that occurred in the United States in 2020—up by 17.7% from 2,854,838 deaths in 2019. The estimated age-adjusted death rate increased by 15.9% from 715.2 per 100,000 population in 2019 to 828.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2020.

There were 0.13% more deaths in 2020.

Normally changes in deaths in a given year are part of a trend that will continue. People get fatter and reduce life expectancy. People get better cancer treatment and life expectancy goes up.

Pandemics are temporary. The Spanish Flu killed 675,000 Americans out of 103 million people in 1918. This was mostly young people. World War I American deaths were also included. This caused life expectancy to dip in 1918 from 51 to 39.

Analysts estimate that, on average, a death from Covid-19 robs its victim of around 12 years of life. Approximately 400,000 Americans died Covid-19 in 2020, meaning about 4.8 million years of life collectively vanished. Spread that ghastly number across the U.S. population of 330 million and it comes out to 0.014 years of life lost per person. That’s 5.3 days. There were other excess deaths in 2020. The average excess life lost per person in the USA was about seven days lost per person.

Life expectancy is a lagging indicator and a snapshot of public health in one year. Life expectancy projects deaths and the ages of those who died for the entire population. Babies born in 2020 are expected to mirror the life of those born in 1940-1950 who then hit a pandemic in the last year of their life.

SOURCES- Statnews
Written by Brian Wang,

26 thoughts on “COVID Cost 5 Days Per American Versus 1.5 Year Life Expectancy Loss”

  1. Deaths is a sad thing, but we must not forget that most people who died of coronavirus were old, white and Trump voters right?
    So, let` s put things into perspective then

    Just sayin

  2. And the 10 times larger group who are now permanently sicker or weaker than before? Won't they increase general health spending and reduce the healthy workforce?

  3. I agree with Drake that changing their method for this year only would be at least as much of a problem as continuing to use the normal, flawed, method.
    The real question is why they adopted this method in the first place.

  4. yep. staff. day-to-day expesnes. operations of factories. All need continuous work to flow…

  5. not convinced. Timing is everything. The Now is way more valuable than the unknown future. Encouraging projects in the current month, quarter, etc., is the lifeblood of Corporate planning and financial decision-making. The ideal world is a rapidly increasing cycle – similar to the immense success of near-disposable mobile phones – isn't Apple getting new $700+ phones re-bought by over 50% in G7 every 18 months to 3 years – insane – such is the 'designed obsolescence' of current tech which finances the next cycle. More is always More.

  6. agreed. growth, progress, and success is very much dependent on employment/ project 'momentum', continuity, and unbroken links in financing 'cusp of the moment' projects. Massive interruptions, negative pivots, and other such disruptions are the poison to new tech developing and commercializing.

  7. It is covid19, so it is around for definitely more than a year. Considering it a single point event, as you did, is less correct than considering a recurring/persistent condition (until we get rid of it) as the CDC did. Continuing to downplay the infection is not only stûpid, but criminal too

  8. Consider all the Medicare, Medicaid, social security retirement, and government, and private pension savings from killing all those elderly folks early. It's a windfall for governments, and corporations.

  9. Government reaction to the pandemic has raised the cancer death rate, since scheduled screening was not done. I saw an estimate somewhere that there were twice as many deaths due to lockdown, and economic fallout than from the virus itself.

  10. CDC's methodology only works if you assume every year going forward is a Covid year.

    Which is to say it doesn't work.

  11. Fair enough, Covid is Cash-For-Clunkers for life expectancy.

    And much like cash for clunkers the economic growth it causes is ephemeral.

  12. "there are 5,000 economics and soft-science PhDs of work poring over everything that happened over the last 18 months"

    Good thing they are working on a PPT instead of looking at inflation.

  13. Due to the fact that Covid deaths are highly skewed towards the elderly and folks with comorbidities, I would expect an strong regression towards the mean for life expectancy over the new few years. OK, my next comment is very crass but it gets the point across. Remember Obama's "Cash for Clunker's" program? Basically they tried to stimulate the economy by incentivizing people to trade in their old cars. The problem is that all it did was pull forward purchases that would happened anyway. The car buying activity then promptly regressed to the mean.

  14. woah. wait until we see the severe polarization and regionalization happen after another comparable outbreak — the spread-out south one way, the north-east urban another. I doubt any federal presence will be able to enforce the type of regulation as we have seen since 3/11. Interesting to see current demographics shift – city to suburbs/ exurbs. I think it was said that there are 5,000 economics and soft-science PhDs of work poring over everything that happened over the last 18 months.

  15. The real casualty is the 'forever' economic loss and re-adjustment of work ethic that will take decades to overcome. Yes – the 90% economy is back and the 'just couldn't get fired' or 'hanging onto a thread' population will likely be out of it for awhile – meaning an overall gain in productivity per capita – cyncially, a necessary purge. But the bespoke small businesses; 6 – 16 months of early learning, late high school, college, etc.; near-retirements that never happened; research and pre-commercial tech that missed that funding; possibly 25%+ of commercial real estate vacant for the long-term (with its adjacent services), etc. Total Waste.
    There has to be a different policy enacted than 'cower and suffer in-place' for the next time. The productive population cannot be subsumed and quashed by the vulnerable and risk-averse.

  16. You wouldn't run this sort of calculation in the first place…

    You mean the same method they use every year, I think a special case one off change would be grounds for a conspiracy theory.

  17. The problem here is that the CDC did this intending to be 'misunderstood'. You wouldn't run this sort of calculation in the first place if you weren't trying to create a wrong impression.

  18. …Don’t blame the method. It’s a standard one that over time has been a highly useful way of understanding how our efforts in public health have succeeded or fallen short. Because it is a projection, it can (and should) serve as an early warning of how people in our society will do in the future if we do nothing different from today…I have been wondering if the CDC should withdraw this report, explaining that it erred by disseminating a finding that was bound to be misunderstood. Yes, Covid-19 deniers will try to score cheap political points for a day or two. But at least for me, I don’t need an agency that is flawless, but one that is forthright.

    The only problem here appears to be inept people interpreting statistics.

  19. It has to be understood that the CDC did not make a mistake here. They're entirely clear on why this number they've released is wrong.

    They've made a political decision to lie to people about how bad Covid was.

  20. The reason why Corona Virus pandemic has stopped in India is because about two third of the population has been exposed to it. I would assume that means that togather with the 8% of Indians that got vaccinated, 75% of the population having antibodies is needed to bring herd immunity to a population roughly.

    In the US 48% of the population is fully vacinated and 20% have already been exposed to Covid, so about 60% of the population already has antibodies to Covid 19 assuming that about half of the people who were exposed to the virus have aslo been vaccinated.

    Adding extra 10% as many people got vaccinated and sick more than 5 month ago and because most people antibodies are not geared specifically to the delta variant, I will assume that 30% more of the population needs to be exposed to the delta variant above the 20% that already been exposed to the virus before the current wave will subside, assuming we are not going to get the booster anytime soon and some 5%more of the population is going to get vaccinated.

    This is a very rough estimate of course, but shows that we are not half the way yet with the pandemic in terms of infections. Extra deaths will be much lower though.

Comments are closed.