A study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour shows how life expectancy in Europe has shortened since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The decline is particularly drastic in Bulgaria. Compared to 2019, the average lifespan there shortened by 17.8 months in the first year of the pandemic, with a further decline of 25.1 months in 2021. While this decrease is not quite as pronounced in Poland, life expectancy of the total population was reduced by around 27 months. In contrast, the graph shows that the effects in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) are less pronounced. In Switzerland, the reduction amounts to only half a month. Norway is the big exception: The country's inhabitants now live 1.7 months longer than before the pandemic.
To put into perspective the extent of life expectancy reductions during the Covid-19 pandemic, the researchers analyzed mortality crises from the last 120 years and made a qualitative comparison with the decline in life expectancy since 2019.
In the first half of the 20th century, there were several mortality shocks that led to life expectancy declines in successive years, but in most cases they recovered immediately. But in the last 40 years, the frequency of mortality crises has declined significantly.