Why Are Americans Dying So Young?

  • Most of us Brits realise that the US is richer than the UK. But just how much richer still has the power to shock. In 2021, American GDP per capita was $69,185 while the mother country got by on just $46,542. In fact, viewed state by state, America is richer than almost all of Europe. Only special cases like Norway, Denmark and Switzerland do better.
  • However, before European readers feel too inferior, there’s a twist in the tale — despite their superior wealth, American lifespans are significantly shorter. In fact, as the above chart from NPR shows, the longevity gap between the US and comparable countries is widening.
  • Or, to to use a straight comparison between the US and UK, life expectancy for American men was 73.2 years compared to 78.7 years for their British counterparts. The difference between American and British women was somewhat narrower, but still marked — with the former at 79.1 years and the latter at 82.8 years.
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