European Union

(dpa) – Life expectancy across the European Union dropped last year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, interrupting a decades-long trend upward, official figures show.

The starkest drop was recorded in Spain: the life expectancy at birth decreased by 1.6 years from 2019 to 2020, the European Union’s statistical office Eurostat said on Wednesday.

This was followed by Bulgaria, which saw a loss of 1.5 years, and Lithuania, Poland and Romania, for which Eurostat noted a drop of 1.4 years.

Eurostat attributed the losses to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw deaths spike across the bloc.

“Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, life expectancy at birth fell in the vast majority of the EU Member States with available 2020 data,” Eurostat said in a press release.

An overall EU average is not available, as member state Ireland has not indicated its data for 2020.

In 2019, the EU average stood at 81.3 years.

On average, the EU life expectancy had increased by more than two years since the 1960s.

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