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The Collective for Health Equity and Well-Being

Cooperative Extension’s Collective for Health Equity and Well-Being is a community of Extension personnel and their partners united by their shared commitment to advancing health equity and well-being. Members work together to support the implementation of Cooperative Extension’s National Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being (2021) to ensure that all people can be as healthy as they can be.

US Life Expectancy Drops to Lowest Level Since 2003


Life expectancy in the United States continued its downward trend in 2020 to just over 77 years of age.  This marks a 1.5 year decline from 2019 when US life expectancy stood at 78.8 years.  Deaths from COVID -19 accounted for the majority of the decline.  The decline would have been far worse had it not been for a reduction in deaths from cancer.

Declines in life expectancy among various groups showed disturbing inequities with people of Hispanic origin showing the greatest decline of three years.  For black people, life expectancy decreases from 74.7 years to 71.8.

The leading causes of death in 2020 were heart disease and cancer, followed by deaths resulting from COVID-19.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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