Volume 48 - Article 12 | Pages 339–352  

Differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on excess mortality and life expectancy loss within the Hispanic population

By Elizabeth Arias, Betzaida Tejada-Vera


Background: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Hispanic population resulted in the almost complete elimination of the long-standing Hispanic mortality advantage relative to the non-Hispanic White population. However, it is unknown how COVID-19 mortality affected the diverse Hispanic subpopulations.

Objective: We estimate life expectancy at birth in 2019 and 2020 by select Hispanic country/region of origin and explore how changes in age-specific all-cause and COVID-19 mortality affected changes in life expectancy between 2019 and 2020 for each group.

Methods: We use final 2019 and 2020 mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics and population estimates based on the 2019 and 2020 American Community Survey. We calculate life tables and apply decomposition techniques to explore the effects of changes in age- and cause-specific mortality on life expectancy.

Results: Patterns of age- and cause-specific excess deaths and their impact on declines in life expectancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic differed substantially by Hispanic subgroup. Life expectancy losses ranged from 0.6 to 6.7 years among males and from 0.6 to 3.6 years among females.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight the heterogeneous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within the Hispanic population.

Contribution: Our findings contribute new information that will help future researchers identify the causes of the disproportionately severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Hispanic population. Our study underscores the importance of population disaggregation in endeavors to identify the multiple pathways by which the pandemic affected the Hispanic population.

Author's Affiliation

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Partial fertility recuperation in Spain two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
Volume 49 - Article 17    | Keywords: COVID-19, fertility, recuperation, Spain

Comparative evidence of years lived with reproductive-age morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa (2010‒2019)
Volume 49 - Article 6    | Keywords: life expectancy, maternal morbidities, reproductive age, sub-Saharan Africa

Subnational variations in births and marriages during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea
Volume 48 - Article 30    | Keywords: COVID-19, fertility, Korea, marriage

Age reporting for the oldest old in the Brazilian COVID-19 vaccination database: What can we learn from it?
Volume 48 - Article 28    | Keywords: age misreporting, Brazil, COVID-19, mortality crossover, oldest old, population aging, vaccinations

How much time is left? International trends in parenthood expectancy
Volume 48 - Article 16    | Keywords: generational overlap, life expectancy, mean age at first birth, parental lifespan, shared lifetime