Life expectancy has taken a rare hit in the European Union during the Covid-19 pandemic. As our infographic using Eurostat data shows, despite a blip in 2015, life expectancy in the EU had been growing every year since at least 2003. In 2020, however, the average years of life somebody born in the 27 countries dropped from 81.3 to 80.4. In 2021, this fell again by another 0.3 years.
As reported by Eurostat, "life expectancy has risen, on average, by more than two years per decade since the 1960s. However, the latest available data suggest that life expectancy (has) stalled or even declined in several EU Member States." adding: "The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative effect with life expectancy at birth declining in almost half the EU Member States in 2021. The largest decreases have been estimated in Slovakia and Bulgaria (-2.2 years compared with 2020), followed by Latvia (-2.1) and Estonia (-2.0). Compared with the pre-pandemic year of 2019, the overall effect on life expectancies is still negative in all EU Member States except Luxembourg (+0.1), Malta and Sweden (same level)."