Life expectancy plummets in New Jersey
A majority of New Jersey residents will not see their 80th birthday.
New federal data shows life expectancy has dropped from 80.1 years in 2019 to 77.5 years in 2020.
It follows a national trend that shows Americans, in general, are not living as long now as we did just a few years ago.
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics shows the lowest average life expectancy (ALE) in nearly two decades at 77 years old in 2020 compared to 79 in 2019.
This is the latest year data was available.
New Jersey ranked 20th in the nation for life expectancy.
While much of the decline can be blamed on deaths due to COVID, there are other factors.
The state reported a total of 31,378 COVID deaths as of Aug. 23.
However, the CDC cited drug overdoses and other "unintentional injuries" as the second leading cause of death.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, life expectancy had stayed relatively stable or slowly increasing for the general population until 2019.
New Jersey did experience one of the highest death rates in the nation from COVID, and that is reflected in the life expectancy numbers. Nationally the decline was 1.7 years. In New Jersey it was down by three years.
State figures show the ALE among females (80.7 years) was six years greater than among males (74.8). Among New Jersey residents, life expectancy is highest among Asians (86.1 years), followed by Hispanics and whites (both 78.4), and Blacks (72.2).
Where you live in New Jersey also makes a difference. ALE ranges from 72.3 years in Salem County to 82.4 years in Hunterdon County.
You can get ALE for your specific town and county by entering your zip code at this address.
Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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