Saturday, December 10

Life expectancy falls in Madrid by twice the average for Spain: 3.6 years less than before the pandemic

Life expectancy at birth in Spain fell by a year and a half in 2020 compared to 2019. This is the result of a report published this Wednesday by the Ministry of Health and which shows that the year of the pandemic lowered life prospects to 82.3 years, compared to 83.8 the previous year. From 2006 to the year before the arrival of covid-19, this indicator had climbed 2.8 years in our country.

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The fall in 2020, that of the latest available data, was to be expected given the circumstances. “This decrease is due to deaths that occurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The magnitude of life expectancy at birth in 2020, in the population as a whole, was similar to that observed in 2010”, reads the study.

In the case of men, life expectancy fell to 79.5 years. It is the first time that it has fallen below 80 since 2015 and the lowest figure since 2011. In the case of women, this indicator now stands at 85 years, compared to 86.6 the previous year, and similar to that of 2009. In both cases, we must go back more than a decade.

Life expectancy at birth is also different between those born in the first and second half of that year, which suffered the highest number of deaths in the first months. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mortality was greater in the first wave than in the second. Life expectancy at birth in the first semester and in the second semester of 2020 decreased by 1.6 and 1.3 years, respectively, with respect to the same semesters of 2019”, the study indicates.

By Communities, the greatest drop has been in Madrid. The Community that started from a higher ceiling – and that most boasts of its management of the pandemic – is the one that has suffered the most from the scourge of the virus. A baby born in this community in 2020 had a life expectancy 3.6 years less than one born in 2019. That is 82.1 years, below the national average. In Castilla-La Mancha the fall was 2.9 years; in Castilla y León, 2.2; and in Catalonia of 2.1. However, only three regions are below 2006 levels: Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha and Navarra.

The ministry also measures expected healthy life years at birth. In 2020, the national average was 78.7 years (76.8 in men and 80.6 in women). This, they point out, “represents 95.7% of the years of life expectancy lived without limitation.” Again, it represents a decrease compared to 2019 as a result of mortality in the pandemic. Specifically, in 1.2 years.

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