EU life expectancy drops across bloc amid virus pandemic

BRUSSELS (AP) — Life expectancy across much of the European Union (EU) dropped last year, as the 27-nation bloc struggled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU statistical agency Eurostat said yesterday “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.

A man jogs as it snows, at Cinquantenaire park during a cold spring day in Brussels. PHOTO: AP