Pandemic cuts Brazil’s life expectancy, experts say recovery will take time

Average Brazilian life expectancy fell for the first time since 1945 last year, and is set to slip even further

life expectancy Graveyard pits opened at São Paulo's Vila Formosa Cemetery. Photo: Ettore Chiereguini/Shutterstock
Graves opened at São Paulo’s Vila Formosa Cemetery. Photo: Ettore Chiereguini/Shutterstock

Since 1945, life expectancy in Brazil increased every single year. By 2019, it had hit 76.7 years, increasing at a rate of five months a year since the end of World War II. But the Covid-19 pandemic broke this 74-year streak, killing 195,000 Brazilians last year alone.

The health crisis has reduced the average Brazilian life expectancy by 1.94 years. The fall was 72 percent bigger than in the U.S., which has recorded the highest absolute number of victims but has seen cases fall due to mass vaccination. 

And these reduced expectations were even more pronounced in some...

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