The United States life expectancy dropped by a year and a half in 2020, recording one of the steepest declines in decades, according to statements from public health officials on Wednesday.

The decline can be majorly attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, which was at its worst so far in 2020. Officials from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said that the deadly virus was responsible for nearly 74% of the overall decline recorded for 2020.

The drop in life expectancy was even worse for the African American and the Hispanic community. The numbers were doubled and reached three years, according to reports from Associated Press.

Last year, more than 3.3 million deaths were recorded in the United States. Associated Press reported that these statistics were significantly higher than those recorded before the pandemic began. COVID-19 accounted for nearly 11% of these deaths.

The life expectancy of African Americans last experienced such a dip in the mid-1930s, when the United States was undergoing a severe economic crunch that is dubbed as the great depression. 

Even though such statistics have not been maintained for the Hispanic community living in the United States for long, health officials of the country said this was the worst decline ever recorded, according to reports from the Associated Press.

Factors other than the COVID-19 pandemic have influenced the life expectancy numbers of 2020. For the White community, drug overdosage has significantly contributed towards getting the number down. 

On the other hand, the Hispanic and African-American community was mostly impacted due to living conditions, restricted access to health care, inadequate income and increased numbers of homicides.

The last five years have been a rough road for the life expectancy of the people living in the United States. The statistics seemed to climb for several years, before coming to a standstill in 2015, according to reports from the Associated Press.