Arias and her colleagues calculated life expectancy using a technique called a period life table.
The data show that in 2021 the Native American and Alaska Native populations had the lowest life expectancy of any race or ethnicity: 65.2 years.
This is equivalent to the life expectancy of the total U.S. population in 1944, Arias and her colleagues wrote.
But the group with the second-largest drop in life expectancy from 2020 to 2021 was the non-Hispanic white population.
Almost half of the total loss of life expectancy of the white population occurred in the pandemic’s second year, Arias says.
The Native American population has a life expectancy comparable to that of some of poorest countries in Africa, she notes.
Addressing these gaps in life expectancy would require the U.S. to overhaul its health care system and make it work for everyone, many experts say. »