EU life expectancy drops across bloc amid virus pandemic

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A man jogs as it snows, at Cinquantenaire park during a cold spring day in Brussels, Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Belgians woke up on Tuesday to a dusting of snow in the capital in an unusual weather event for this time of the year. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

BRUSSELS – Life expectancy across much of the European Union has dropped last year, as the 27-nation bloc struggled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU statistical agency Eurostat said Wednesday that “following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, life expectancy at birth fell in the vast majority of the EU member states.” It said the biggest drop was in Spain, with a loss of 1.6 years compared with 2019.

Bulgaria followed with a loss of 1.5 years, followed by Lithuania, Poland and Romania, which all saw a drop of -1.4 years. Denmark and Finland were the only nations to see a rise in life expectancy, with 0.1 years.

There was no overall EU statistic available since Ireland hadn't reported data.


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