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Covid-19 hit hardest in men, cutting their life expectancy by over an year

Life expectancy will recover in the future, but with a 'slower growth'


Key points from article :

Life expectancy for men in the UK has fallen for the first time in 40 years, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Life expectancy at birth was 79 years for men; it was virtually unchanged for females at just below 83.

In 2020 itself, life expectancy for men had fallen by 1.2 years and for women by 0.9, reflecting the higher Covid-19 death toll for men.

An analysis of 29 countries across Europe, the US and Chile, shows falls in almost all of them.

Females in Finland and both sexes in Denmark and Norway showed slight improvements.

Losses were small in countries such as Estonia and Iceland.

Future waves of the virus, long Covid, economic disruption and treatment delay for serious illnesses have the potential to keep UK life expectancy down, says Stuart McDonald, co-founder of the Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group.

Vaccinations, mass-infection control and an increased focus on healthcare may help it recover.

"But my view...this is a net negative, meaning slower growth."

Mentioned in this article:

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Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The UK's largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK.

Stuart McDonald

Head of Demographic Assumptions and Methodology at Lloyds Banking Group

Topics mentioned on this page:
Life Expectancy, Coronavirus