CHICAGO — City health officials say the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a real toll and shaving years off Chicagoans’ lifespans.
Public health data shows life expectancy dropped by an average of almost two years from 2019 to
2020, during the first year of the pandemic.
It’s now just 75 years old.
The decline was even worse for Black Chicagoans, whose life expectancy fell below 70 for the first time.
Chicago Latinx residents saw a more than a 3-year drop in life expectancy between 2019 and 2020, the steepest decline for any group. Statistics show that Chicago Latinx residents have lost seven years of life expectancy since 2012.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is committing $30 million of taxpayer money to address the problem by singling out the root causes of health disparities.
The virus was the second leading cause of death in 2020, only behind heart disease, which also increased, as did other chronic diseases like diabetes.
The city also saw higher than expected increases in deaths from accidents (overdoses, car crashes) and homicides.
Chicago will also focus health and social services on the most impacted neighborhoods.