Walla Walla Trends Blog – June 2022

Did you know there are nearly 130 different community indicators on Walla Walla Trends - each updated throughout the year? But which ones, and when?

This issue of the Walla Walla Trends blog lists the most recently updated indicators on the Walla Walla Trends website.  

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The complete list of Walla Walla Trends can be found here.

Blog Feature: Life Expectancy in Walla Walla County

Impact of the Pandemic:  Life Expectancy Falls Two Years – Dropping Below State Average!

Life expectancy at birth is a popular way of showing changes in the overall health of a community. Over time, life expectancy at birth has steadily increased due to improvements in public health. Walla Walla Trends provides the data for the county along with the state & US as benchmarks in their indicator 4.1.1 Life Expectancy at Birth.

One of the striking impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic is the swift and dramatic decline in overall life expectancy in just one year. Life expectancy at birth fell across the United States by nearly a year and a half returning the nation to a level it first achieved in 2003 – essentially wiping out over 15 years of increases in health outcomes.

Washington state, in part due to higher vaccination rates and stricter masking mandates, fared better than the nation with a reduction of almost a year. For the first time in over a decade, the life expectancy at birth for an infant born in Washington fell to under 80 years.

Turning to Walla Walla County, life expectancy at birth fell by more than two years – a steeper drop than both the state and the nation.  In 2019, life expectancy at birth in the county exceeded both the state and national averages. However, after just one year of the pandemic, life expectancy for the combined counties has fallen to a level below the state average. Life expectancy at the end of 2020 was the lowest it has been since 2012 – a regression of nearly a decade!