The outlook for Americans wasn’t always this grim. Since the middle of the 20th century, life expectancy has steadily climbed, with some small, albeit concerning, annual decreases in recent years. But in 2018, life expectancy improved by a small increment, from 78.6 to 78.7 years, which was the first time since 2014 that the number had gone up. A similar increase was recorded in 2019, the CDC reported.
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