What Caused the U.S. Life Expectancy to Drop Two Years in a Row?
People are living longer, so why has the U.S. life expectancy dropped two years in a row?
Unfortunately, it has to do with deaths of younger people. Opioid overdoses. Here in New Jersey we are no strangers to this epidemic.
The life expectancy in 2014 was 78.9 years old, in 2015 it dropped to 78.7, and in 2016 it dropped again to 78.6.
As in years past heart disease was the number one cause of deaths in 2016.
2016 saw a 9.7% increase in unintentional deaths according to the report done by the CDC.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Princeton economist Angus Denton commented, "Basically, good things are happening to old people, while bad things are happening to young ones."
A drop similar to this occurred in the 1960s, which linked backed to deaths from diseases caused by cigarettes.
In 2016 over 63,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdose. From 2014-2015 there was 16.4% increase in drug overdose deaths in New Jersey alone according to the CDC. As of August 6, 2017, with 22 states reporting, there was a 21% increase in drug overdose deaths in the country between 2016-2017.
In 2016 in New Jersey, there were at least 1,901 people who died from opioid overdoses. NJ.com released an interactive map which mapped out all 1,901 people. You can click on a red dot to see where the overdose occurred, how old the person was, and the drugs that were found in their system.
According to NJ.com, "While opioids killed scores in every generation in New Jersey last year, nearly a third were between 25 and 35 years old, according to the data."
Reports still coming in for 2017, but New Jersey officials except the number to be higher than in 2016.