Brazil’s life expectancy dropped 4.4 years during the pandemic

life expectancy dropped pandemic
Duque de Caxias, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, was one of the first Brazilian cities to loosen mask regulations. Photo: Tomaz Silva/ABr

Covid-19 has killed almost 645,000 people in Brazil, according to official data from the Health Ministry. As a result, the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea) measures that the country’s average life expectancy at birth has fallen by 4.4 years.

The current figures show the massive effects of the second coronavirus wave, which peaked in April 2021. At that point, the coronavirus reduced life expectancy by 1.94 years.

In 2019, a person born in Brazil was expected to live to around 76.6 years. Now, that forecast has dropped to 72.2 years on average. “The first impact of the pandemic is the increase in mortality and, as a consequence, a strong reduction in life expectancy”, Ipea researcher Ana Amélia Camarano told newspaper Valor. Between 1980 and 2019, Brazil’s life expectancy increased by four months a year — between 2019 and 2021, it dropped four months every 30 days.