How does U.S. life expectancy compare to other countries?

This chart collection 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, it also assess how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected life expectancy in the U.S. compared to peer countries.

The analysis finds that 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.

The slideshow is part of the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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