Germany: Corona Pandemic Decreases Life Expectancy

Because of the high number of deaths caused by the Corona pandemic, life expectancy for newborns in Germany is significantly lower than it has been before the virus hit. The eastern part of the country is affected more than the area of former West Germany.

Berlin, July 27th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — The latest numbers released by Germany’s Federal Office of Statistics are worrisome. Corona has decreased the life expectancy of newborns. According to the data, a girl who was born in Germany in 2021 can expect to become 83.2 years old, statistically speaking, and a boy 78.2 years. Compared to 2019, the year before Corona hit, there is a decrease by 0.6 years for boys and by 0.4 years for girls.

Significant Difference

From 2019 to 2021, the decrease is 0.6 years for boys and 0.4 years for girls. In the area of the former GDR, the effects of Corona are even more obvious. Here, the life expectancy for boys is 1.3 years less than it would have been before Corona, and 0.9 years less for girls. During the second Corona wave, the eastern federal states were hit a lot harder than the states the Federal Republic consist of before the reunification. Besides, the willingness to get vaccinated is lower in what used to be East Germany.

Now, the life expectancy for boys in the eastern part is 76.4 years, but 78.6 years in the area of former West Germany. Girls can expect to live 82.7 years in the east, or 83.3 years in the west. This is a significant difference.

Increasing Mortality

Germany’s mortality is increasing because of the Corona pandemic. Before it started in early 2020, it rose by 1 to 2 percent per year. On the one hand, the country registered an aging effect, on the other hand the life expectancy kept on increasing. In the first Corona year, 2020, the mortality increased by 5 percent fo 986,000 cases. In 2021, it rose by another 4 percent to 1.02 million, the Federal Office of Statistics says. The increase from 2019 to 2021 is 9 percent.

“The decreasing life expectancy shows how grave the pandemic is”, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said. “Other countries were hit even harder.” Professor Lauterbach noted that the lower vaccination readiness in the eastern part of Germany had cost additional lives. Here, far more Germans vote for the extremist right-wing party AfD which rejects anti-Corona measures. Conspiracy theories spread in the western states too, but even more so in the east.

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Intensive Care

In the meantime, the ongoing Coronavirus wave is showing its effects. Since this month began, the number of Corona patients in intensive care has increased by almost 700 to 1,621. In the past 24 hours, 181 Corona-related deaths were recorded. Since yesterday, 121,780 new Corona infections were registered. Only infections confirmed in PCR tests make it into the Robert Koch Institute’s statistics, meaning the actual number is a lot higher.

Looking for the daily Corona update for Germany? Find it here.
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2022
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2021
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2020

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