Covid sees biggest fall in life expectancy in England since 1940s

The Coronavirus pandemic caused the largest fall in life expectancy across England since the Second World War, new data has revealed.

The average life expectancy at birth for men in 2020 dropped by 1.3 years and was down 0.9 years for women compared to 2019, the largest fall since 1939-40.

Data published on Thursday by Public Health England found life expectancy fell sharply during the first half of the year, coinciding with the first wave of the pandemic.

Between January and June life expectancy at birth for men fell 1.7 years compared to the same six months a year before. For women, the drop was 1.5 years.

Public Health England said the numbers did not mean babies would see their lives cut short by that amount as mortality rates would change over time, but the figures were an alternative way of showing the effect of Covid-19 deaths on the population.

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