MONTREAL — The federal statistics agency says the COVID-19 pandemic led to a drop in Canada’s life expectancy in 2020.
Statistics Canada says it estimates that life expectancy across the country declined by an average of 0.41 years in 2020, adding that the 15,651 deaths caused by COVID-19 contributed to that drop.
It estimates that life expectancy in Quebec — where 8,226 deaths were linked to COVID-19 in 2020 — declined by 0.84 years. In Manitoba, where life expectancy is estimated to have dropped by 0.6 years, is the only other province with a decline above the Canadian average.
Statistics Canada says the average age of people who died from COVID-19 in 2020 was 83.8 years. In 2019, the average age at death was 76.5.
The agency says 2020 is the second year in the past two decades during which life expectancy declined in Canada. In 2017, it declined by 0.07 years, a drop attributed to the opioid epidemic.
Statistics Canada says life expectancy in the country has risen by an average of 0.13 years a year over the past decade.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press